Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/9/2023: Matthew 3:13-17

Today please be in prayer for

Abilene First UMC
Salina District
Alida UMC
Wakefield UMC
Salina District
Agenda UMC
Belleville: First UMC
Salina District
Beloit: First UMC
Salina District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 3:13-17

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw God’s Spirit descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from the heavens said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

Today's Devotional

Ordinary time has never struck the imagination of many preachers and worship teams. And yes, it refers to the ordinal or the counting of the weeks of the liturgical year, not what it sounds like to our western ears: ordinary. Yet we can play with the word that it sounds like and explore what it is like to live an ordinary life as a part of the kin-dom of God; in other words, nothing like ordinary!

We are counting the weeks after Epiphany and attempting to get a glimpse of what life as the people of God might be like. We consider some of the most famous passages of scripture to help us shape a vision of the life we are called to live — not just a special, rise-to-the-occasion kind of life, but an everyday life, an ordinary life that isn’t ordinary. Because we believe that followers of Christ who live their faith day by day are anything but ordinary. They stand out; they become models and mentors; they are examples of what life is all about.

At least that is our hope and our belief: that our lives represent the kin-dom of God. We are the evidence that our faith is true and our God is at work in the world. In other words, we are now the epiphany, the light shining forth for the world to see. And of course, we will fail from time to time. But how we deal with failure is also a sign of that presence and glimpse of the kin-dom. So, this ordinary time is extra-ordinary in the living of it. Let us embrace the call with grace and with joy.

-- Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, Discipleship Ministries

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