Daily Devotion 16 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.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 ‘Everything Has Its Time’

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Luke 4: 1-2, 13-15 ‘The Temptation of Jesus’

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.

13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. 14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country.  15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

We have just come through the most important seasons of the church year – Lent, Holy Week, and the joy of Easter Resurrection. We are now in the days leading up to Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the ‘birthday’ of the Church. But is the season of Lent really over? The coronavirus has in a way thrown us back into Lent – a time of reflection, meditation, self-examination, as we try to find ways through this ‘wilderness’ and isolation and look towards another ‘resurrection’ an exit from lock-down and a more familiar way of life. We cannot turn the clock back, but led by the Spirit we can learn to think and live in new ways. Already people are coming up with innovative ideas to provide equipment, keep businesses going and supporting each other keeping in touch.

This is also God’s time, lent to us to use for Him and in His service seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we move forward. Some years ago Rev Nigel Collinson, then Chair of Southampton District, led a weekend on the theme ‘All TIME is lent – all time is LENT’. Quotations on Time and Lent were researched, thoughts, prayers and prose on the theme were written and shared and craft items produced. Try for yourself making up an acrostic on the words ‘God’s Time for Me, My Time for God. This pandemic has shown us how precious life and time are – they are God’s gift to us, let us not waste them.

Prayer:

Try reading StF 728 ‘O God, You Search Me’ as a prayer and find reassurance in the words.

The time we give to God is time God gives to us
For all our time is God’s and God is in all time. AMEN.

Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Carol Jewell.
Image freely available at: https://all-free-download.com/free-vector/download/tree-with-four-seasons-vector_546381.html.
Hymn ‘O God, You Search Me’ © 1992 Bernadette Farrell

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