Deepen - Develop - Deliver

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!

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Sunday’s Scripture ~ Luke 19:1-10.


Devotional Scripture ~ Numbers 11:11-13.


Donkey is a lovable character and faithful companion of an ogre named Shrek. The two find themselves on a quest together to save a damsel in distress. Like many, Donkey is excited as the quest begins. Like many experience on a journey, Donkey's excitement...quickly...evaporates. His song, his verse - same as the first! - becomes...


Are we there yet!?


Donkey's incessant questioning pushes Shrek towards his wits' end. The sentiment of that question - multiplied by six-hundred-thousand Hebrews - aimed solely at Moses drives the Exodus leader towards his wits' end!


Are we there yet?! the Hebrews lament. They are wandering around in the desert. The Promised Land is not yet in sight. They are complaining. They are whining. They are crying for the creature comforts of Egypt!?! And poor Moses does not know what to do.


He is discouraged...and he takes his discouragement to the Lord. He does not slap on a happy face. He does not put lipstick on a pig. Moses is honest. In our devotional text, Moses asks God direct and timely questions.


Moses tells God the burden is too heavy. And God responds.


I believe deeply that God is faithful in helping you - helping us - handle what you - we - are given. We have evidence to this truth in Numbers 11. Moses approaches God with his own complaint - his own grievance. God does not take the cause of Moses' grievance away; nor God does teleport Moses to the Promised Land and leave the complainers in the desert. God faithfully helps Moses to handle what he had been given, instructing the leader of the Hebrews, "Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you. I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take some of the spirit that is on you and put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people along with you so that you will not bear it all by yourself" (vv. 16-17).


God equips Moses with strategy. God strengthens Moses' resiliency and sends him back to serve.


When we encounter a season or circumstance that is too heavy, trust that God is faithful in helping us handle what we have been given. Take the concern to the Lord. God's faithfulness may release you entirely from the burden - thanks be to God! God's faithfulness may, like with Moses, strengthen your resiliency and provide you with peace as you are sent back to serve - thanks be to God! In all and through all, God is with us. God is for us. And God is so so good.


Reflection: Share with God what you are carrying that feels too heavy. Ask God to help you find peace - whether it is through release, resilience, and/or response. Trust that God loves you, and walk forward with joy.


Prayer: “The Lord has promised good to me; his Word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as live endures.”* Amen.


*“Amazing Grace,” The United Methodist Hymnal 378.


**Devotional Resource: The Weekly Prayer Project by Scarlet Hiltibidal