Daily Devotion 03 April 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Psalm 46:10-11

‘Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.’
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Poem: ‘Be Still’ by Ann Lewin

You do not have to look for anything,
Just look.
You do not have to listen for specific sounds,
Just listen.
You do not have to accomplish anything,
Just be.

And in the looking
And the listening,
And the being,

Still Waters by the Bishop’s Palace, Wells

It’s very strange not gathering together at Emmanuel for Sunday worship, not ‘being’ Emmanuel as we’re used to. The coronavirus pandemic is pretty dramatic but no more so than the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, I suspect. They had to decide what to keep and what to abandon, what it was essential to hang on to, and what it was better to discard. God always longs to help us escape from the things that hold us captive.

Just as God led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt, now during this crisis he is leading Christians everywhere out into newness. We’re all called to move forward and to leave behind the hindrances of the past.

I think that one of the most serious things that gets in the way of our relationship with God, is our preoccupation with being busy. We feel guilty if we’re not doing something useful – perhaps it’s the Protestant work ethic in us! The Church has a propensity for keeping us busy, too.

In the midst of all the important things that need to be done, we need time to rest in God’s presence. Today, with the coronavirus restrictions, we have an enforced unhurried time of quiet, which we don’t all find easy. We need to be still and rest in God’s love. Maybe, in the quiet, God will show us just one thing, one little thing, we can let go of, to come closer to him.

God our Father,
Help us to use this time of enforced social distancing to come closer to you.
May we spend more time in your presence, in quiet and in prayer.
As we look for ways we can help others, within the limits that this crisis imposes,
and pray for those with greater needs than ours,
may we not forget to listen to you in the stillness.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Image © 2020 Paul Tabraham.
Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Ann Caffyn.
A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here
All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356