Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/4/2023: Matthew 10:40-42

Today please be in prayer for

Great Plains Conference clergy faith and wellness coordinator
Hutchinson District
Alden UMC
Hutchinson District
Buhler UMC
Hutchinson District
Bushton: First UMC
Claflin UMC
Hutchinson District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 10:40-42 (CEB) 

Those who receive you are also receiving me, and those who receive me are also receiving the one who sent me. Those who receive a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Those who receive a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. I assure you that everybody who gives even a cup of cold water to these little ones because they are my disciples will certainly be rewarded. 

Today's Devotional

Today we celebrate the founding of the United States and the independence that was proclaimed by a handful of patriots 247 years ago. We are a nation founded on the shoulders of immigrants, people who came to North America looking for a new life for many reasons. Some came for religious freedom. Some were looking for wealth. Others came as prisoners being expelled from Britain for such crimes as stealing a loaf of bread or picking pockets. Some, to our great shame, came as human cargo on slave ships. We have a checkered past when it comes to immigrants. From taking land that did not belong to those who doled it out, to welcoming some newcomers and reviling others, we have often failed to recognize that even as we have claimed to be a nation founded on Christian principles we do not act in Christlike ways on many levels. 

Jesus told his followers that we are his representatives, and because of that we also represent God. We cannot undo what was done in the past, but if we continue to claim to be a nation founded on Christian principles, we should probably be looking closely at how we receive the strangers in our midst. Do we receive them as representatives of Jesus, and therefore God, honoring them as persons worthy of God’s care and concern? Are we there to offer those cups of cold water in Jesus’ name to all who are thirsty? 

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday today, in the midst of recreational activities, barbecues and fireworks, let us also remember that today’s immigrants come here for many of the same reasons as did our ancestors. And remember, as well, that as disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to let the strangers in our midst see Jesus in us, offering God’s love to all. 

-- Robbie Fall, Retired Elder 

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God, open our hearts and minds that we may truly show you and your Son to everyone we encounter in life, welcoming the strangers in our midst and offering cups of cold water – or whatever is needed – to the least of your children. In Jesus name. Amen. 


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