Great Plains Daily Devotional for 3/4/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Norton: First UMC
Hays District
Oakley: First UMC
Hays District
Clayton UMC
Jennings UMC
Oberlin UMC
Hays District
Alton UMC
Osborne UMC
Hays District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Today's Devotional

Our first response to 1 Corinthians 13 may be memories of a wedding. We often connect Paul’s words to marriage and romantic love, but Paul wasn’t writing with newlyweds in mind. He was offering guidance to a struggling community of faith.
 
We often face division in our congregations and our communities. We have disagreements which turn conversations into conflict. We hear and read arguments that assault our senses like noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. We invest a lot of time, money, and energy learning how to be better partners, but we rarely put those resources into improving relationships where we find ourselves divided.
 
Paul gives us a model for how we relate with one another as the body of Christ. Paul’s vision is to offer patience and kindness. We must replace arrogance and rudeness with humility and politeness. I believe we can do this by being patient listeners and offering empathy. This doesn’t mean we have to be people who go along to get along. We are called to stand up for our beliefs, but to do it without attacking someone’s character.  
 
I believe for us to move forward in our congregations and communities we need people who see there is another way. Shouting matches draw more attention than civil conversations. Having thoughtful conversations when we disagree seems almost countercultural. When we remember a person we disagree with is also a beloved child of God, we remember Christ commands us to love God and neighbor. If we don’t live that way—Paul’s answer is blunt. Without love we have nothing.
 
-Michael Turner
Pastor, Osage City & Reading KS

michael.turner@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God, when all we hear around is the chaos of noisy gongs and clanging cymbals, help us remember there is another, more excellent way. Grant us wisdom and patience so that we may be people who offer love in those places where it would be easier to join in the noise. Amen.
 

 

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