Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/18/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Wichita Pleasant Valley UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita St. Paul's UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita West Heights UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita West Heights UMC
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 6:32-36

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Today's Devotional

Today is the birthday of my friend, Catherine. I would gladly do so many things for her.

I drove 2 ½ hours, one way, for her husband’s funeral a couple of years ago. Even though we still live that far apart, if she were ill and could not afford her prescriptions, I would make appropriate arrangements. If she needed help to pay for car repairs, so she could get to work, I would lend her money. Who knows? It is possible that I might need similar help some day. I am feeling quite generous and gracious just thinking about it.

The Scripture suggests that such giving and help are appropriate and important actions for the disciple. However, they are not enough. First a follower of Jesus is instructed to offer gifts to others without expecting anything back. God delights when we show love for God through our actions. God pours abundant love on us, even if we fail to accept it or to offer love back to God.

Even more stunning, followers of Jesus need to consider reaching out to those whom they do not know or just do not like. These persons might live in the neighborhood or the surrounding city. On the other hand, such folk could make their home in Afghanistan or Scotland or New Zealand. In all of those places are persons who need food or clothing or who live in makeshift shelter. People can be found everywhere who grapple with illness or need transportation to medical appointments. Mothers struggle to obtain school supplies for their children. Able-bodied, skilled folk search diligently to find work to provide for their loved ones.

As followers of Jesus and as children of God, we need to consider how to show love to those who live far away or right next door. Can we send a monetary gift to UMCOR? Would a jar of peanut butter and a package of crackers, or a box of diapers be a possibility? What about taking appropriate work clothing, in good condition, to Dress for Success or a local clothing resale shop. Is there a trusted agency through which funds might be funneled to help with auto purchases or with a month’s rent? Do we have abilities that would be useful to classroom teachers in helping students learn?

Luke’s gospel makes clear what the expectations of disciples are. Whatever action we choose, we must act. We will not be reimbursed by the gift recipients. After all, it is purely a gift. Wait – maybe we will be rewarded? Hmm!

-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh, retired
Wichita, Kansas

Prayer for Reflection

Your gifts are so many. Thank you. Remind us each day that your desire is for us to use our gifts to bring others your love. Amen.



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