Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/25/2022: Isaiah 2:2-5

Today please be in prayer for

Omaha St. Paul UMC
Missouri River District
Omaha St. Paul UMC
Missouri River District
Omaha TRI Community UMC
Missouri River District
Omaha Urban Abbey
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 2:2-5 (NRSV) 

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that God may teach us God's ways and that we may walk in God's paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. God shall judge between the nations and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord! 

Today's Devotional

The holiday season is here. We go right from celebrating Thanksgiving to the Advent season. I always love this time of year, getting to spend time with family and loved ones is a highlight. However, after the events of the past week with many shootings and acts of violence in our world, my heart feels heavy. It is hard to celebrate and give thanks when so many in our world are grieving and discerning what actions are needed in the future.

But the lectionary reading for the first Sunday of Advent turns us to hope, “They shall beat their sword into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.” In anticipation of the birth of the Messiah, there is the hope of what this new leader will bring: peace, hope, love, joy, an end to all violence.

I’ll admit for myself right now it is hard to celebrate the birth of Jesus when there is such pain and tragedy. However, there was pain and hardship the first Christmas. There were decrees of violence, and the Holy family was met with challenges. And rather than respond with fear and doubt, they trusted there would be a new life and new hope. So, in these challenging times, when we might want to lose hope, we must turn to the star overhead and see Jesus brings a new way, a way where all receive abundant life. These times are hard, but we can respond with fear, or we can respond with hope. The way of Jesus is always one towards hope. In this holiday season where things might be challenging, may you live into hope. 
-- Maddi Baugous, associate pastor
Omaha First UMC


Prayer for Reflection

Living Christ, our hearts are heavy with the pain in the world. We mourn and lament. In this season may we remember there is always room for hope, and that hope enters as a vulnerable child. Renew our hope in your everlasting love. Together we pray. Amen.


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