Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/15/2023: 1 Corinthians 13:13

Today please be in prayer for

Wichita Dellrose UMC
Wichita East District
Wichita East Heights UMC
Wichita East District
Wichita East Heights UMC
Wichita East District
Wichita Heart of Christ
Wichita East District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NRSV)

And now faith, hope, and love remain, these three, and the greatest of these is love.

Today's Devotional

Valentine's Day. The holiday of the heart. A special time to communicate our love to those who are dear to us. I think back to my grade-school days and remember the fun we had making bags or boxes to receive Valentine cards from our teachers and classmates. The cards were occasionally hand-drawn, but most of us bought them in packages with assorted designs and different sayings, and then filled in the names. I also remember being less than thrilled that I had to provide cards for certain kids in my class, even the kid that hassled me on the playground, called me names, and made some of my days miserable. But the teachers always said to provide Valentines for everyone. I wondered why I had to give Valentines to classmates I wouldn't have wanted as friends. Now, I believe it was God-inspired wisdom that we were asked to bring cards for everyone, even if it wasn't always comfortable. If it were otherwise, we all know full well what would have happened. Some kids, the popular ones, would have had boxes overflowing. Others would have had one from the teacher, and maybe one or two from the kids. I know this is happens not just in grade school but in most areas of our lives. 

You may say that no one can afford to give Valentines to everyone. But what about other kinds of love? What about the kind of love that costs us nothing, but with which we are still stingy? Sometimes, there are those in the church who want to exclude some people from God’s love because of who they are, or how they look or act, or because of how they think. Sometimes we’d rather welcome and sit only with those with whom we agree and give our Valentines only to those we like. When this happens, I think of the lesson the Master Teacher has tried to teach us. Jesus never excluded anyone. He welcomed people as they were and empowered them with love to be something more. He told all people they were equally loved by God. Yes, Jesus also told them to sin no more, but he can say that to all of us equally, too. None of us actually deserves the grace God has given us. What great joy it is to know that God loves each and every one of us anyway - with perfect, unconditional love! Jesus opens his heart and says to us, "Be Mine," and that is very, very good news. Go ahead and share this wonderful good news with all, maybe even someone you like! 

-- Rev. Galen Wray, retired elder

Prayer for Reflection

All loving God we are so thankful for your love - the agape love of which Paul speaks. May we find it in our hearts to love not just the lovable, but all of your children. In the name of one who personifies unconditional love. Amen. 


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