Daily Devotion 19 June 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.

Psalm 91:1-4 ‘Assurance of God’s Protection’

1 You who live in the shelter
of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
2 will say to the Lord,
‘My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.’
3 For he will deliver you
from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
4 he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

Under His Wings by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Are you ever afraid? Do what baby chicks do! At the first sign of danger – if there’s a storm coming or a hawk hovering – a mother hen spreads out her wings and clucks to her babies, and they run straight under her feathers. The mother draws her wings in tight, tucking every one of her little chicks safely under her. Nothing can touch those babies. And we have a Heavenly Father who says he loves us and cares for us like that. When we are afraid, he tells us to run to him. We can nestle up under his wings. And he will protect us.

During these strange times we all have our measure of good days and bad days. When we face struggles, and fears, and in need of reassurance, I love to ponder over this poem and illustration based on Psalm 91. The image of the hen tightly tucking in her chicks under her wings is a beautiful one. It fills me with a lovely warm glow and helps me through the tricky times. The COVID19 pandemic has particularly left many families struggling with home-schooling, entertaining little ones, a lack of support and missing the presence of loved ones. The Psalmist knew where to find re-assurance – in God’s Love – ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ and ‘He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge’. We need this comfort too – God will be with us always through all the challenges and struggles that pass our way.

June is the National Month of Prayer for Toddler Groups, this is headed by 1277 (National Network for Church Based Toddler Groups). There are roughly 1277 days a child has at home before they start school. We at Emmanuel provide valuable support and encouragement to these families through Little Wrens Toddlers, Jenny Wren Nursery School and Footprints on Sunday. Let us now take some time to pray for all these families and also all those in need of a re-assurance of God’s love for them; that we may all personally know – ‘Under his wings you will find refuge.’

Prayer:

Loving Lord, our Heavenly Father,
we are your family because you have fathered us into being,
we belong to you because you have mothered us into life.
Bless, we pray,
the families associated with our church – shield them from harm.
Protect those children now at school
and reassure us all that we can come to you with our concerns and petitions
knowing that you will answer them in your time.
We pray in Jesus’s name.  Amen.

Reflection © 2020 Sarah Skelton & Jim Stirmey.
Poem © 2012 Sally Lloyd-Jones ‘Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing’.
Image: © 2012 Jago.
Prayer: Adapted, from ‘The Word in the World’ © 1997 Donald Hilton.

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