Great Plains Daily Devotional for 3/7/2023 Isaiah 65:17-25

Today please be in prayer for

Decatur UMC
Tekamah First UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Carroll UMC
Wayne First UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Blue River District
Blue River District
Elkhorn Valley District
Blue River District
Blue River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 65:17-25

For I am about to create new heavens
    and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
    or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I am creating,
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy
    and its people as a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it
    or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days
    or an old person who does not live out a lifetime,
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
    and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
    they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
    they shall not plant and another eat,
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
    and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain
    or bear children for calamity,
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—
    and their descendants as well.
Before they call I will answer,
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together;
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
    but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
            says the Lord.

Today’s Reflective Questions

  • Even if it is not obvious, where do you see a theme of fasting — or withholding something — in the assigned reading?
  • Lent is a time that encourages self-reflection. What is your heart, mind, or body saying in this season?
  • What might God be saying to you? Is there anything you want to say to God about the practice of giving something up in this season?

Today's Devotional

This Week’s Lenten Focus: Fasting

This Lenten season, Bishop David Wilson, along with some conference staff and members of the laity, are inviting the people of the Great Plains Conference and beyond to “Pay Attention to God’s Voice” during this season of Lent. The theme for this week is Fasting and Prayer.

Discipline isn’t necessarily something to which we naturally gravitate, but when we’re serious about becoming disciples of Jesus, it’s an essential part of the Christian life. This week we’ll take a look at the spiritual discipline of fasting and consider how intentionally limiting something that’s good (food, technology, or something else) cultivates discipline that helps us pay closer attention to God’s voice, individually and in a community.

Life isn’t found in calories, vitamins, or nutrients, though those things sustain it. Rather, life is found in submitting our lives to God, in taking on the life of Christ, and in putting one foot after another, day after day. You are invited to practice cultivating communion with God even in the intentional denial of something that is good.

Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford
Rev. Bellarmee Milosi

Invitation to Go Deeper

What are you learning about fasting, the intentional denial of something that is good so that you can experience a deeper communion with Christ? Consider how fasting affects your mind … your body … your soul. Is something coming to your awareness that could be a word from God?

Prayer for Reflection

God, we acknowledge tension between that which is and that for which we long. In the time in which we watch for the New Heaven and New Earth, will you be near to us in our weeping? We release our tensions of the now and trust you for that which is to come. Amen.


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