Great Plains Daily Devotional for 3/2/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Healy UMC
Utica, KS UMC
Hays District
Hoxie UMC
Selden UMC
Hays District
Kanorado UMC
Hays District
Lebanon UMC
Hays District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 51:1-17

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
    and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty,
    a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
    therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
    and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
    if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Today's Devotional

Today we begin my favorite time in the Christian calendar: Lent.
I know for many people Christmas is the best time of the year, but for me Easter is one of my favorite days! It’s warm and I love all the pastel colors which get associated with it. And who doesn’t love Easter baskets?
While Easter is bright and joyful, the journey through Lent is often darker and more uncomfortable. For instance, Ash Wednesday is to be a reminder of our mortality and for us to repent of our sins. During Lent, we might give up certain things, like avoiding sweets or soda, as a way of self-denial and regulation. Right before Easter, the Holy Days are ones of betrayal and the death of Jesus, not exactly an easy or light topic to discuss.
I think for many of us we like to avoid Lent because it makes us uncomfortable. Lent doesn’t have bright shiny lights and tinsel. Instead, it has a call for us to reflect and reexamine our very existence. But I don’t think we should avoid Lent because it might be harder than other times of the year (like Advent or Christmas) but we should reframe it.
Lent is a time where we can make ensure we are following in the ways of Jesus, in caring for all God’s creation. Lent is a time where we can remember the everlasting grace we receive through Jesus. And to understand that there are times in our faith, where things are uncomfortable and messy, but we must be ready to handle them and not avoid them. For myself, I love Lent because it invites me to deepen my relationship with God. To take time and find what makes my soul sing, even when things get hard and uncomfortable. For me, that means journaling and writing. It might mean spending time in your garden or painting and drawing. It might mean allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable, all while knowing God’s everlasting love is for you.
-Maddie Baugous
Pastoral Intern
Omaha First UMC

Prayer for Reflection

Loving God, we know at times it is hard for us to be uncomfortable and embrace the hard feelings of grief and sadness. May we know you are there with us in all our feelings: joy, sadness, confusion, all of it. And for this we are thankful. Amen.


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