Daily Devotion 13 May 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.

Philippians 4:4-9 ‘Paul’s Encouragement to the Church’

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

The often quoted saying, ‘It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness’ was first said by a 19th Century Wesleyan Methodist minister, William Lonsdale Watkinson, in a sermon he entitled, ‘The Invincible Strategy.’ It’s an old-fashioned preaching style but remarkable good sense. He says: ‘Evil is not overcome by denunciation. It is surprising how much efficacy is supposed to go with denunciation. Real, constructive, aggressive good is of far greater significance than eloquent invective…denunciatory rhetoric is so much easier and cheaper than good works, and proves a popular temptation. Yet is it far better to light the candle than curse the darkness.’

In the present pandemic, it’s not uncommon to feel fear and uncertainty, which brings a lot of distress and anxiety. The media help when they generate hope, present positive facts of cases that have been cured, point to the fact that every suspect is not necessarily positive and every positive case isn’t going to die. Sadly, they don’t always do that.

The NHS website, Every Mind Matters has some good suggestions about what to do, like, ‘Stay connected with people’, ‘Support and help others’ and ‘Stick to the facts’. It says: the media loves bad news, it’s what gets people watching, so find a credible source of news and limit the time you spend watching or listening to it.

People of faith need to be positive, to live in and spread confidence and hope rather than doom and gloom. Just like any other storm, this too shall pass and clear the cloudy skies. So, let’s keep the faith – smile, stay positive and pray. Then we might just be part of the cure instead of part of the problem.



Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Howard John.
Image: freely available from https://pixabay.com/images/search/candles/.

A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here
All material reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356