Daily Devotion 04 January 2021

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.
Isaiah 42: 16 I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them.

Matthew 28:20 [Jesus said] “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure 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.

We were listening to a radio service the other day and a worship song seized my attention. It wasn’t one I’d heard before and it had a chorus which stuck in my mind:

“I just can’t give up now
I’ve come too far from where I started from.
Nobody told me the road would be easy
And I don’t believe he’s brought
me this far to leave me”

The song talks of mountains to be climbed, of battles to be fought, of trials and uncertainties to be grappled with, and I was reminded of what Julian of Norwich wrote:

‘He said not,
“Thou shalt not be tempested,
thou shalt not be travailed,
thou shalt not be afflicted”, but he said,
“Thou shalt not be overcome”

For all of us there are periods when we find that living our Christian faith is hard and many of us have times when it feels as if we’re going it alone. We may even have moments when we’re tempted to give up. At one stage this worship song says, “But how can I expect to win if I never try”. Giving up isn’t really an option for us.

Wherever we are on our Christian journey, at bad times as well as good, we know that God is beside us, loving us, giving us strength and courage. The Bible is full of passages that spell this out for us – three of them I’ve quoted above. The past year has been a difficult one for many of us as individuals, as well as for the church family. With vaccination against the virus now available, there is hope that we face a better twelve months ahead.

At this season, as we move into a new year it’s a good time to dedicate ourselves and our lives again to God. And whenever the going seems tough, we can hang on to the fact that God is here with us at every moment. In the wholly appropriate words of that worship song, “I don’t believe he’s brought me this far to leave me.”

Prayer:

Loving Heavenly Father,
thank you that you are always there with us, even when we are not aware of you.
Help us in the year ahead
to live the life for which you created us,
to love and serve you
and to love and serve our neighbours.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2021 Ann Caffyn.
Image freely available online.

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All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356