Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/29/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Genoa UMC
Monroe UMC
Silver Creek UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Belgrade UMC
Cedar Rapids UMC
St. Edward NE UMC
Prairie Rivers District
St. Paul NE UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Benedict UMC
Polk UMC
Stromsburg: First UMC
Prairie Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 5:43-45

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

Today's Devotional

For much of my life I have diligently cared for the lawn of the houses in which I have lived - the home I grew up in, the homes I have owned and even the parsonages in which I’ve lived. Much of the time spent in caring for lawns was spent in the ongoing battle against weeds, particularly the dandelion. My kids and then my grandkids joined forces with the dandelions by taking the seed puff balls and blowing the seeds everywhere in my yard(s) while I stood by watching helplessly. Family finally convinced me to leave dandelions alone by becoming honeybee friendly and planting more flowers/weeds that attract bees, such that now dandelions and clover fill my yard. But I was also convinced to appreciate dandelions by reading the following story:  
A man who took great pride in his lawn found himself one spring with a bumper crop of dandelions. Blown in on the wind they take root easily and then grow the most formidable root systems. The man tried every method he knew to get rid of them, and still they plagued him and even multiplied. He contacted the local extension agency and asked them what could be done. They sent back a list of things to try, and many of them the man had already tried, and there were several new suggestions as to ways to kill the dandelions and destroy their roots. After a few months, the man had as many dandelions as ever. He contacted the extension office again and said ‘the hated dandelions are still here. What do you suggest I do?’ The reply came back ‘we suggest you learn to love them.’
We often come upon other things and other persons in our lives who would be the dandelions in our lawns. We scheme and struggle with how to get rid of them. Could it be that the way to destroy our enemies would be to love them? Jesus thought so. He says so in the Sermon on the Mount and this remains for me his most difficult teaching. I do not wish to trivialize our world conflicts by comparing them to dandelions, but I do believe that unless we can learn to love our enemies at an individual level, we are unlikely to love our enemies at a global level.
-Rev. Galen Wray


Prayer for Reflection

Loving God, we hear your words and pick out the parts we like and can do, and we pass on your difficult teaching. May we hear “love your enemies” as a commandment and act upon it where we can. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Amen.


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