Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/16/2023: 2 Corinthians 1:20

Today please be in prayer for

Keats Riley UMC
Leonardville UMC
Randolph, KS UMC
Swede Creek UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: Church of Our Saviour UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: First UMC
White City UMC
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

2 Corinthians 1:20

“For in him everyone of God’s promises is a “Yes”.” For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen”, to the glory of God.”  (NRSV) 

“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together gloriously evident.”  (The Message) 


Today's Devotional

Her name was Erma. I met her when I was serving as a chaplain at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita 40 years ago. Two of the units I ministered in were the Medical Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Unit for patients with head injuries or strokes. Erma had suffered a massive stroke which in time took her life. One of the injuries from her stroke was that she was aphasic – an inability to formulate language or speak.  

I visited Erma (she was conscious) and her husband, Chet, regularly and learned they were faithful members of a local UCC congregation and also involved in various works of mercy and justice in the city. I was humbled by their faith and sense of calm while Erma suffered. But there was a most amazing reality Erma maintained which I will never forget. Though Erma was aphasic, unbelievably, there was one word, that’s right, one word, Erma was able to utter until the time of her death. That word - “Yes.” Even as I write this now and remember Erma, it brings me to tears. 

Consider the power of having only word we could speak, and that word would be “Yes.” Not “No.” Not “Maybe.” But “Yes.” That was Erma’s reality. She died witnessing to the power of believing in God’s promises in and for our lives which is always Yes. And she, with her stroke ravaged body and with effort said “Yes.” 

So, my friends, what does it mean for us to be a “Yes” people. A “Yes” congregation. A “Yes” United Methodist Church. Our world at the moment is filled with a lot of “No” and bad news filled with cynicism, self-focus, greed, violence, division and hate. Our world (and our church) indeed needs some “Good News” which at its heart is “Yes” news. God loves us unconditionally – yes. The Spirit is at work in our troubled world and church – yes. Death and trouble do not have the last word – yes. We are called to be agents of transformation seeking peace with justice – yes. And all the promises of God for us and our world will find their reality in Jesus – yes. 

So today as I remember Erma, I am challenged to live my life as a yes. And like her, if I only had one word I could speak, it would be yes. How about you? 

-- Rev. Rick Saylor, retired clergy
Kansas City, Missouri



Prayer for Reflection

O God, the source of all communication. Thank you for our simple yet powerful ability to speak words and put sentences together. Today may we remember a “word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Amen 


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