God in Every Time

•April 23, 2021 • Leave a Comment

The readings for this week, amongst others are John 10:11-18, Jesus the Good Shepherd and the much known and loved Psalm 23 the Lord is My Shepherd.  A very strong theme of God’s love and care for each and every one of us.

Life, inevitably, has its hard times.  Circumstances we would rather not face, situations that terrify us, stresses we would rather not have.  It can be all too easy at times to think that God has abandoned us, left us to fight our own fights, to deal alone with whatever comes to us.  But that is not what God promises us.

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God is our Shepherd.

God does not watch over us, doing his job but ultimately disinterested.  God is totally invested in us and our wellbeing.  The relationship is not one of someone asked to keep an eye on us, but an invested relationship because we are God’s.  So when trials, difficulties, terrors, threats and dangers come, as they inevitably will, God doesn’t turn tail and run, abandon us, leave us to fend for ourselves to fight against whatever perils come along. God is there.  God stays with us.  God will never abandon us, because God knows us, loves us and is willing to lay down his life for our own.

God loves us, and that love is shown in presence, deep care and even sacrifice.

The beautiful Psalm 23 reminds us of all the ways God walks with us through life.  When we might ask, “Where is God in all this?”, the answer is right there along with you.  somewhere, somehow, we can know all can be ok because we have God with us.  Things may seem awful, but we are not alone in them – God is with us.  God is everything, and holds us in our pain, our anguish, our despair.

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When we are weary and exhausted, God gives us rest and holds our burdens.  God gives us somewhere to rest and gives us refreshment.  When all around is frantic, God takes us to a place where we can rest in that presence – a place of peace – deep peace.  A place to get the strength needed.  Strength for today and tomorrow.

When we cannot cope – God can.  God renews us and leads us.  When we don’t know where to go, what to do, God does…

God takes us.  We are not alone.  We are not lost.  God is there.

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When we are afraid, when we feel so alone, God’s protection is there.  A shepherd would normally carry a rod. This rod would be used for protection and a weapon against wild animals.  The staff to hook sheep out of trouble.  Comfort here stands for protection, peace, preservation, strength, and assurance in the hard places of life.    The sheep follow their shepherd, believing that they will look after them.  In God is the courage.

Throughout life, even when things are bad, God gives us in abundance.  It’s not just a sandwich and a drink, but a banquet and an overflowing cup.  And God does it in a way to give us honour.  Where our enemies can see how much God loves us.  We are God’s honoured guests.  God is so glad to welcome us and care for us. 

God’s promises are for every day.  For good day and bad days.  For sad days and happy days.  For easy days and difficult days. For mountain tops and valley bottoms.  And we are welcome to live with God – our place is with God – now and always.  Nowhere we go – nothing we go through is without God’s love and goodness there with us.  God’s house is our home – anytime.  We can trust in God always.

I don’t know the way.

I like to think I do,
that I can get myself there,
chart my own waters,
make my own decisions,
know what is best

but…

But I can be easily distracted
by something that looks interesting,
tasty,
shiny.


Sometimes

I like to walk on the wild side,
laugh in the face of danger,
challenge good advice.

“I won’t fall down there.”
“Who says that’s not good for me?”
“But I just want to taste.”

But you,
you Lord,
you know what I need
and you will lead me there
if only I am not so stubborn.

You know the green, lush fields,
the safe spaces,
the resting place
for me.

You watch me like a hawk,
ready to catch,
to water,
to lovingly tend and rescue me
yourself,
whatever the cost.

You love me
and walk with me
every day of my life,
every step I take,
you are there,
whether I see you or not.

However difficult,
desperate,
painful
things are

You,
you are there.

You walk with me.

Companionable,
Caring,
loving,
tending
God.

May I learn to hear your voice
and follow it
all the days of my life.

Resurrection – What About Me?

•April 9, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Here is my pre-recorded Daily Devotion for today, an opportunity for personal reflection on the events of Holy Week and Easter:

The bible reading that goes with it:

44 Then he said to them, “These are the very things I told you about while I was still with you: everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets, and the Psalms had to come true.”

45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “This is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, 47 and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.”

Luke 24:44-49

And the song suggestion:

From my book Voices Through Holy Week and Easter

Just For You Thomas

•April 8, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Here is my pre-recorded Daily Devotion for today:

And the bible reading:

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus and Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”

28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”

The Purpose of This Book

30 In his disciples’ presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. 31 But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.

John 20:19-31

And the song suggestion:

From my book Voices Through Holy Week and Easter

 
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