Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/9/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Norfolk First UMC
Winside UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Lyons, NE Memorial UMC
Oakland First UMC
Rosalie UMC
Walthill First UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
O'Neill First UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Osmond UMC
Elkhorn Valley District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 15: 1-10

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Disaster Response Coordinator
htapley@greatplainsumc.org

Today's Devotional

Several weeks ago, when I first broke my foot, I searched my house high and low for the walking boot that I had used on the other foot a few years ago. I looked in boxes (still not unpacked from moving here in 2018). I never found it – so there was no rejoicing to be had, especially when purchasing another one. Yet it would have been a different story if I had found it – instead of hobbling around the house grumbling and talking out loud (to the dog) about where it might be, I would have had a clearer sense of mind about me.

My wandering around with the “noise” in my mind and out loud, was nothing like the noise of the Pharisees and legal experts: did you really catch what they were saying? “This man (Jesus) welcomes sinners and eats with them! How dare He go out to people who are not like us – they are sinners! They are not in our community – what is He doing?

In the midst of the noise, Jesus begins to tell them a story. He gathers the crowd and the eavesdroppers to whom He is really talking. And He says: “Suppose someone among you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the pasture and search for the lost until he finds it? (v.3)” Like those standing around listening to Jesus that day, I can picture in my mind some individuals I know who would probably answer back: “seriously -- You want me to go find one sheep when there are ninety-nine left? It’s hot in the Midwest – one lost sheep isn’t going to hurt.”

In the noise of our lives, when we are tending to our needs, Jesus reminds us that our relationship with Him is one of seeking, not sitting inside the cool facility, and waiting for the noise of life to calm down. Jesus is saying to us: “In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes both heart and life than over 99 righteous people who have no need to change their hearts and lives. (v.7)” The one is important to Him!

There is more joy over one – than over the 99.

-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Disaster Response Coordinator
htapley@greatplainsumc.org

 


 

Prayer for Reflection

Creator God, forgive us when we forget that our relationship with You is one of action. Forgive us when we are satisfied. Forgive us that we do not think of one more soul coming into the Kingdom. Forgive us and have mercy on us. Amen.

 

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