Daily Devotion 17 August 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 3:16 ‘God’s Grace for God’s World’

For God so loved the world
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
may not perish but may have eternal life.

‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

When I survey the wondrous cross,
on which the Prince of Glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
save in the death of Christ my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.
See from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down;
did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson, like a robe,
spreads o’er his body on the tree;
then am I dead to all the globe,
and all the globe is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

While we are all in the ‘abnormal holiday season’ and probably remembering past places of happy memories you have enjoyed, my daily devotion today will be just that!

In 1990 Pat and I were in a church group on a holiday visit to the Passion Play at Oberammergau in Bavaria, Germany. This play was first performed in 1634, the result of a vow made by the inhabitants of the village that if God spared them from the Bubonic Plague (then sweeping the region), they would perform a Passion Play every TEN YEARS.

The play was first performed on a stage that was built at the pestilence cemetery over the graves of those who had died of the plague. The graveyard setting soon proved too small and was moved to a nearby field.

Our memorable visit in 1990 involved a stay in the village and seeing the Bavarian houses bedecked with thousands of beautiful flowers. A lasting impression is of a visit to the Post Office and being served by one of the actors who was Jesus Christ! The acting, music, setting, and reverence of the play will remain with us – along with the everlasting message of the love of God to humankind. This year the play has been delayed at the present time with history repeating itself due to the virus plague we are all experiencing.

Prayer:

O Lord and loving Heavenly Father,
helps us to continually survey your wondrous cross
and give thanks for all your love.
We pray especially for all those involved in front line service in our present difficulties,
that they may be given new hope and perseverance.
In your Name we pray. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Derek Scott.
Hymn words no longer in copyright.
Images freely available online.

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