Great Plains Daily Devotional for 10/15/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Falls City First UMC
Rulo Trinity UMC
Missouri River District
Fremont First UMC
Missouri River District
Gretna UMC
Missouri River District
Humboldt, NE UMC
Table Rock UMC
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 53:4-12

It was certainly our sickness that he carried,
    and our sufferings that he bore,
    but we thought him afflicted,
    struck down by God and tormented.
He was pierced because of our rebellions
    and crushed because of our crimes.
    He bore the punishment that made us whole;
    by his wounds we are healed.
Like sheep we had all wandered away,
    each going its own way,
    but the Lord let fall on him all our crimes.

He was oppressed and tormented,
    but didn’t open his mouth.
Like a lamb being brought to slaughter,
    like a ewe silent before her shearers,
    he didn’t open his mouth.

Due to an unjust ruling he was taken away,
    and his fate—who will think about it?
He was eliminated from the land of the living,
    struck dead because of my people’s rebellion.
His grave was among the wicked,
    his tomb with evildoers,
    though he had done no violence,
    and had spoken nothing false.

But the Lord wanted to crush him
    and to make him suffer.
If his life is offered as restitution,
    he will see his offspring; he will enjoy long life.
    The Lord’s plans will come to fruition through him.
After his deep anguish he will see light, and he will be satisfied.
Through his knowledge, the righteous one, my servant,
    will make many righteous,
    and will bear their guilt.
Therefore, I will give him a share with the great,
    and he will divide the spoil with the strong,
    in return for exposing his life to death
    and being numbered with rebels,
    though he carried the sin of many
    and pleaded on behalf of those who rebelled.

Today's Devotional

The suffering servant bore the punishment that made ME whole; by His wounds I am healed. There are several things about that one part of the verse that makes my soul stir and uneasy, then finally at ease. I visibly see the raw, open, bleeding wounds. I want to turn away, yet my gaze is still – eyes wide open and fixed upon the wounds that I have caused. My eyes glace towards Your face, and all I see is compassion and love from my God, Savior and Friend. My eyes cannot remain looking at your eyes – the wounds pull me back into the deep night of the soul.

Softy, I began to hear, “what wondrous love is this, o my soul, o my sou-l, what wondrous love is this, o my soul! What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.” (United Methodist Hymn #292) As I listen, my eyes are moved from the raw, bleeding wounds, to the empty grave. It is in that moment that I am healed and made whole. There is forgiveness and unconditional love, and my soul is calm and at peace.

I hope you can change your focus from the wounds to the empty grave.

-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Disaster Response Coordinator

Prayer for Reflection

God of wonder, You continually amaze us of Who You are! Forgive us for being focused on the wounds we have caused You. Forgive us for not looking at the empty grave and enjoying our healing. Today, stir the words within us, “what wondrous love is this, o my soul . . .” Amen.


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