Daily Devotion 17 September 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.

Genesis 28:20-22 ‘Jacob’s Promise’

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.’

‘O God of Bethel’
Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)
O God of Bethel, by whose hand
thy people still are fed,
who through this weary pilgrimage
hast all our fathers led:
To thee our humble vows we raise
to thee address our prayer,
and in thy kind and faithful hands
we lay our every care.
Through each perplexing path of life
our wandering footsteps guide;
give us each day our daily bread,
and raiment fit provide.
O spread thy covering wings around
till all our wanderings cease,
and at our Father’s loved abode
our souls arrive in peace.

This was one of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones’ favourite hymns sung at Westminster Chapel in London. For me today I find the first line of verse three sums up our present-day feelings very well indeed! Philip Doddridge was an English non-conformist Congregational minister. His sermons were mostly practical in character, and his aim was to cultivate in his hearers a spiritual and devotional frame of mind.

Doddridge became a prolific author and hymn-writer. He maintained a circle of influential independent religious thinkers and writers including Isaac Watts. Doddridge’s 375 hymns are to be found in his book The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul. His hymns have been compared to Jacob’s ladder…they begin on earth and end in heaven! There is many an antidote for our human need as Doddridge lifts our eyes to view our circumstances in the light of that eternal world to come.

Prayer:

O Lord our loving heavenly Father, we pray for guidance through our present perplexing path of life that we may remain true believers in our Christian faith. Our hope is in you alone in these anxious times. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Derek Scott.
Image freely available online.

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