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Dead Man Walking: How A Burned Out Prophet Came Back to Life – Exploring Emotional Burnout

Each week Pastor Sarah offers a devotional reflection to connect with the South Shore UMC Family. Use this entry as a way to prepare your heart and mind for worship. See you Sunday!


This Sunday the South Shore UMCommunity continues our sermon series on *BURNOUT*! During September, we will explore aspects of physical, emotional, and spiritual burnout, and learn about strategies that we can employ to be healthy in the midst of our recovery from burnout as we prepare to re-engage life as God intends for us.

I will reference Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski's book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle throughout this sermon series. Join us safely in-person for this time of study or connect with us via our YouTube Channel - And if you think someone in your life would benefit from participating in this study, share an invitation with them to join the South Shore UMCommunity!

Sunday’s Scripture ~ I Kings 19:9-10.

Devotional Scripture ~ I John 1:5.

Through our faith, we develop a sense of who God is. The Bible provides us with great insight and robust vocabulary to equip us in our personal articulation of who God is:

Our God

  • never leaves - not as God the Father (Deuteronomy 31:6) | not as God the Son (Matthew 28:20) | not as God the Holy Spirit (John 14:16)

  • never lies (Titus 1:2)

  • never does wrong (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)

  • never fails to keep a promise (Numbers 23:19)

Isaiah prophecies in Chapter 40, “All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever” (vv. 6b-9). God’s word never fails. And in a world where everything changes - and there is so much failure - and set backs seem expected rather than a surprise - I take great comfort in these attributes of God.

They give me hope.

One - “You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you” (Ps 91:5-7).

Two - “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him” (Lam 3:22-24).


Three - “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:35, 37-39).

Because of God, I need not fear.

Because of God, new mercies never end.

Because of God, nothing can separate me from the love of Christ.

Because of God, I have hope.

And through my growth in knowledge of God, my faith grows.

Reflection: In a world where so much changes, how crucial is it for you to know and feel the steadfastness of God? Which characteristics of God mean the most to you at this moment in your faith journey?

Prayer: "This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on, time to believe what love is bringing, laying to rest the pain that's gone. Then let us, with the Spirit's daring, step from the past and leave behind our disappointment, guilt, and grieving, seeking new paths, and sure to find."* Amen.

*”This Is The Day of New Beginnings,” The United Methodist Hymnal 383. **Devotional Resource: The Weekly Faith Project by Zondervan.


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