Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/29/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Newton Trinity Heights UMC
Hutchinson District
Hutchinson Faith UMC
Nickerson UMC
Hutchinson District
Peabody UMC
Hutchinson District
Arlington UMC
Murdock KS UMC
Pretty Prairie UMC
Hutchinson District

Today's Lectionary Text

Ephesians 2:19-20 

So now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household. As God’s household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 

Today's Devotional

As a single person I am most often on my own when I go out for a meal. I have often spent the time waiting for a meal to be brought to my table doing a bit of people watching and overhearing conversations. (I don’t intentionally eavesdrop, but it is hard to shut out the conversations around you when you are not also involved in one.) I am often amazed at the subjects discussed by people in a public setting when they have the illusion of anonymity. I learned a lot about the communities in which I served simply by unobtrusively having a meal in the local cafes.  

I occasionally eat at a local diner that is very popular, so, even in retirement, I find myself observing my “dining companions” as I wonder about their stories. One day last week, though, as I was tucked into a corner of that diner, I had something of an epiphany. Every diner has its “regulars,” the people who eat there on a regular basis (perhaps every day) and are on a first name basis with the servers. As soon as they sit down a server is there with the cup of coffee or glass of iced tea or soda that is known to be that patron’s drink of choice. The regulars often know each other, and conversations spill over to include the folks at neighboring tables. They are a community that has grown up out of connections made over months and years. 

Then there are the people (like me) who just drop in on occasion. We initially enter as strangers. We may get a few stares as we are recognized as strangers and other patrons try to determine if we are familiar to them. But inevitably, there will be a nod of greeting here and a smile there – at least in most of the local eateries I have frequented over the years. 

I doubt that this is exactly what the writer of Ephesians had in mind in the verses quoted above about God’s household. But, in the words, “You are no longer strangers and aliens,” I am reminded of the gentle welcome that I have received in small town cafes and diners that have made me feel a part of the community in that place from early one. I have no idea about the religious or spiritual understandings of the people in the diner. But I do know that they are children of God, just as I am a child of God. On that day last week, as I ate my eggs and bacon, I realized that even though I do not know the people who surround me by name, I am welcomed as a part of that community for the time that I am there. And, as a member of God’s household, it is my responsibility to welcome others when they cross my path – to recognize that they also belong to God’s household. 

--Robbie Fall, retired elder 

Prayer for Reflection

Welcoming God, as you welcome each of us into the household of believers, keep us ever mindful that we also have many opportunities to welcome strangers into our midst and hold them as our own family in your presence. Amen. 


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