Daily Devotion 03 August 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.

Zephaniah 3: 14-17 ‘A Song of Joy’

14 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgements against you, he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love;

‘Forth in thy Name, O Lord, I Go’
Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go,
my daily labour to pursue,
thee, only thee, resolved to know
in all I think, or speak, or do.
The task thy wisdom has assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfil,
in all my works thy presence find,
and prove thy good and perfect will.
Thee may I set at my right hand,
whose eyes my inmost substance see,
and labour on at thy command,
and offer all my works to thee.
Give me to bear thy easy yoke,
and every moment watch and pray,
and still to things eternal look,
and hasten to thy glorious day;
For thee delightfully employ
whate’er thy bounteous grace has given,
and run my course with even joy,
and closely walk with thee to heaven.

This hymn by Charles Wesley is often sung at the end of a service, for which it is very suitable. However, Wesley’s original title – ‘Before Work’ indicates a message of daily labour as well as Sunday morning worship. The hymn unfolds a theology of work and daily living. It gives a message of hopefulness in so far as our work and service is done ‘cheerfullly’, ‘delightfully’ and with ‘joy’. To bring it up to date the illustration gives us a focus on how help is being given to those unable to shop for themselves and becoming very grateful to all in the frontline of care in the community.

The instruction in verse four to ‘watch and pray’ and be prepared for the end of life’s journey is very relevant in view of the disastrous last four months that the world has suffered. Let us all be grateful for ‘thy bounteous grace’ which we can all enjoy and give thanks for today.

Prayer:

Loving Heavenly Father, we come gratefully into your presence
and give thanks for the many blessings you bestow on us.
We give thank for another day in which we can delight reading your Word
and offering any help that we may be involved in doing.
In your Name we pray. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Derek Scott.
Hymn words no longer in copyright.
Image freely available online.

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