Daily Devotion 09 November 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.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-10

7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.

‘A Hymn in Honour of Our Ancestors’
excerpts from Sirach 44 in the Apocrypha

1 Let us now sing the praises of famous men,
our ancestors in their generations.
2 The Lord apportioned to them great glory,
his majesty from the beginning.

7 All these were honoured in their generations,
and were the pride of their times.
8 Some of them have left behind a name,
so that others declare their praise.
9 But of others there is no memory;
they have perished
as though they had never existed;

14 Their bodies are buried in peace,
but their name lives on
generation after generation.
15 The assembly declares their wisdom,
and the congregation proclaims their praise.

The School crest at St. Ninian’s School, Moffat

We are in between Remembrance Sunday (yesterday) and Remembrance Day (11th November), and I would like to focus on one individual, famous for his wartime exploits. I refer to Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, who led Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, when the country was extremely hard pressed. Defeat in the air could have led to invasion.

I remember that Hugh Dowding started his education in the same school where I was a student teacher, at Moffat in Dumfriesshire. In the Dining Room there were two fireplaces with these two statements carved into the stone: ‘Manners Makyth Man’ and ‘To Work is to Pray’. However, the school motto was ‘Nil Desperandum’‘Never Despair’ and it is a maxim we could consider in our daily devotions.

The sadness today is that so many in our country are losing the will to live and giving up in despair due to the increasing problems of changing circumstances. The wartime spirit engendered by our heroes like Hugh Dowding is what is needed today as we all face changes due to what was normal behaviour. Let us cling to our faith and however difficult the outlook becomes we must ‘Nil Desperandum’ and thank God every step of the way, praying for opportunities to offer help as and when the occasion arises.


Loving Heavenly Father, we thank you for every remembrance of past loved ones
and the knowledge they are safe in your hands.
Help us live lives that reflect our love for you and may we never despair of our faith in you. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Derek Scott.
Image of Hugh Dowding freely available online.
Image of school crest provided by Derek Scott.

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