Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/22/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Bethany UMC
Talmage UMC
Salina District
Culver UMC
Tescott UMC
Salina District
Barnes UMC
Haddam UMC
Washington: First UMC
Salina District
Webber UMC
Salina District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
    like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
    reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    carrying their sheaves.

Today's Devotional

In today’s passage the Psalmist is filled with joy. Joy seems to be the overarching theme. The Psalmist cannot help but express their joy to God.

There is something different this Advent/Christmas season. Not just those noticeably different changes we are witnessing, like meeting in-person for services, hosting Christmas parties, or embracing the beautiful unseasonable weather we have been blessed with. There seems to be more joy this year. Honestly, you can see it in people! 

Personally, I think we are more aware of the privileges we have taken for granted that were lost last year, such as gathering with loved ones for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. This year, we are able to hear the children sing and dress up once again as shepherds for the Christmas program that last year grew dusty while the buildings of worship were shut and dark.

This year as many are returning to a sense of normalcy, we embrace the joy of Christ that can be seen all around us. Families are happily buttoning up their winter coats and putting on stocking caps to go outside and play with friends.  I have heard of so many families crowding in their vehicle to look at lights together this year. I literally feel a joyful presence in the air, one that I have not experienced ever before.

The reality is this is a feeling we can have year-round, one of abundance. One that rejoices in knowing that Christ is our daily bread and fills us with all we need. I challenge you to keep doing your Christmas time routines. Make gingerbread houses with bright vivid gumdrops. Drink hot cider around the fireplace with a loved one. Attend Christmas Eve service with a neighbor who may be alone otherwise.

Whatever you do during this joyous time, let Christ be the center of it. Amen 

-Rev. Spencer Johnson
Ord and Sargent UMC's

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God, may we rejoice in Christ everyday as we live our lives. Amen. 


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