Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/4/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Bellevue Aldersgate UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue Aldersgate UMC
Omaha Lefler Memorial UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue St James UMC East
Bellevue St James UMC West
Missouri River District
Blair First UMC
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Kings 5:17 (CEB)
At the king’s command, they quarried huge stones of the finest quality in order to lay the temple’s foundation with carefully cut stone.

Today's Devotional

I turned the corner and my heart stopped for a moment. There it was, the Western Wall – all that remains of the temple Jesus knew. I wasn’t expecting it quite so soon, but there is no mistaking what is before you. I hadn’t expected it to have such an immediate effect on me, either. But, if nothing else, I learned on this spring’s long anticipated trip to Israel that you really cannot predict what reactions you will have to any location you visit.

We had already seen many ancient structures before that last afternoon in Jerusalem – from Jericho to Masada to a multitude of sites prominent in Jesus’ ministry. But this last stop of the day, an opportunity to join many others in prayer at the Western Wall, was a major highlight of the trip for me. One I had not anticipated.

It’s not Solomon’s temple. That was destroyed centuries before Jesus’ birth. It’s not even a wall of Herod’s temple that Jesus knew. It is a wall supporting the platform on which Herod’s temple was built. But because it is all that is left of the temple – and because the Holy of Holies sat closest to this wall (up on top of the platform) – it has long been a special place of prayer for all Jewish people, as well as for Christians.

As I ponder the impact of my visit to the Western Wall, though, the quoted verse from 1 Kings comes to mind. The stones for Solomon’s temple were “of the finest quality to lay the temple’s foundation.” I am reminded that just as the temple needed a quality, solid foundation, so does our faith. That solid foundation requires that we engage with the Creator in very real ways. A quick prayer begging God to do something for us when we are in a panic over something does not constitute the kind of engagement with God that creates a solid foundation.

Rather, a solid foundation grows as we take time to read and study Scripture on a regular basis and visit with God each day. When we practice such regular engagement with God, we lay foundation stones that undergird our faith. And when we have that foundation, renewed with every day of engagement with God, the faith we grow can withstand any assault that the world can throw at us.

--Rev. Robbie Fall, retired elder

Prayer for Reflection

Help us, O God, to build strong foundations for our faith in you and your Son through our daily practices. Amen.


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