Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/11/2023: Colossians 3:17

Today please be in prayer for

Ebenezer (Clay Center) UMC
Morganville UMC
Salina District
Clay Center UMC
Salina District
Concordia First UMC
Concordia Trinity UMC
Salina District
Courtland UMC
Scandia UMC
Salina District

Today's Lectionary Text

Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of Jesus. 

Today's Devotional

I had an interesting experience some years ago. I flew home to Nebraska from California, and to find a less expensive flight home, I flew out of Los Angeles International. I had definitely forgotten what flying out of LAX is like - you know at Omaha or Lincoln, you can usually walk up to check your bags with only a few people in front of you. So I was thinking I could arrive at LAX about 45 minutes before my flight. Well, the line to check in baggage was at least a 45-minute wait! After the reality that I would miss my flight hit me, I begged some United Airlines personnel for help. They did help me, though they and every person in line glared at me, and I was told to run upstairs to the boarding gate and check my luggage there. I ran through the airport just like a famous Hertz commercial, and reached the gate just as they were going to close the door. I started to run on to the plane, and the United personnel said “just leave your baggage at the door.” Oh my, what a relief it was to just drop my bags, walk on the plane and sit down. That image of relief stayed with me, and I thought about where I have heard that phrase before. I remembered that it is one of the basic ground rules of mediation: please leave your baggage at the door - and what it means is when you enter this space where an issue is to be resolved, you must leave your past hurts, your old grudges and your hidden agendas outside. 

Here we are in a new year, and I suggest for the health and well-being of our souls, our churches, or our community, that we forget about making new years resolutions, and we instead make a concerted effort to 'check our baggage at the door'. Many of us are already far more bogged down with heavy baggage than we realize. In Colossians 3:17, Paul says “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of Jesus.” I don't know what the Colossians thought when they heard that, but you reading this today, do you think you could honestly swear to get back at someone -- in the name of Jesus? Could you actively work to bring about someone's downfall -- and do it in the name of the one whose birth we just celebrated? In a world where there is already much too much violence and hatred, we need to be a culture that tangibly lives out Paul's words by wearing clothing of forgiveness and love. So as we prepare to enter a new year of our life in Christ, can we please check our bags at the door? 

Prayer for Reflection

My wish for the New Year -- That you have someone to love, have meaningful work to do, and have things greater than yourself to believe in; that you have a reason to smile every day and a shoulder to cry on when you need it; that you keep your integrity even when the choices are hard; that you love deeply, give freely, forgive willingly, laugh easily, and live well enough to be grateful for every day. -- Margaret B. Moss 


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