Daily Devotion 09 July 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.

John 15: 12-17 ‘The Love Command’

12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

During these weeks of the pandemic I, and I hope you, have really appreciated friends who phone and email and write letters. Not only do they keep in touch in different ways, they themselves are very different. One can ring just when a hot meal is on the table and I can say, ‘I’ll ring you back’ whilst another demands to know why I wasn’t there when she rang unexpectedly. To one I can say anything: with another I watch my words. When I checked my concordance to see where the above text came from, I looked again at the handwriting in the front which says, ‘We took sweet counsel together and went into the house of God as friends’. It was written by my grandmother when she gave me the book for my 21st birthday. Last year at the celebration of my becoming a local preacher, someone was asked, ‘Why are you here?’ to which came the simple reply: ‘She is my friend’.

‘It was then that I carried you’
by Ally Barrett
(2012 pencil sketch)

Friends – all different, yet all reflect in one way or another aspects of the perfect friend – Jesus, to whom we can pour out our hearts at any time of the day or night. I have a little plaque in my bedroom which says, ‘Before you go to bed give your troubles to God. He will be up all night anyway.’

I hope these thoughts have brought your friends to mind, and if perhaps you have not heard from one of them recently, do get in touch, as Paul urged us to do in his letter in the June part two magazine – though not at mealtimes or when their favourite TV programme is on! And remember your friend Jesus is always available.

The following lines are from the very well-known hymn by Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1819-1886) reminding us of the great privilege of prayer to our great friend Jesus who is there in heaven interceding for us day and night. Please use the words of the hymn to meditate on the amazing friendship Jesus offers us and how often he uses our friends to show us his friendship.

Prayer:

What a friend we have in Jesus – all our sins and griefs to bear!
Can we find a friend so faithful – who will all our sorrows share?
in his arms he’ll take and shield you – you will find a solace there.
Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Gillian Wood.
Hymn words out of copyright.
Image © 2016 Ally Barrett https://reverendally.org.

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