Daily Devotion 20 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.

James 5: 7-11 ‘Patience and Prayer’

7 Be patient, then, my friends, until the Lord comes. See how patient farmers are as they wait for their land to produce precious crops. They wait patiently for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord’s coming is near.

9 Do not complain against one another, my friends, so that God will not judge you. The Judge is near, ready to appear. 10 My friends, remember the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Take them as examples of patient endurance under suffering. 11 We call them happy because they endured. You have heard of Job’s patience, and you know how the Lord provided for him in the end. For the Lord is full of mercy and compassion.

Today and last Thursday have both been exam results days in the United Kingdom: GCSEs today, ‘A’ Levels and BTechs last Thursday. Thousands of boys and girls have opened emails, post, or have journeyed into school to find out their results – and all with some anxiety or trepidation I expect! We know that some will be delighted by the results they achieved – whether it was a pleasant surprise or joy of expectation fulfilled. And we know that some will be disappointed – whether because of not doing as well as they might have wanted, or feeling unfairly treated having marks assessed in a different way than ever before.

Whether your exam results are out today, last week, or are buried far further back in your memory, it’s a good moment to pause and to prayerfully remember our children and young people who are been marked, graded, assessed, and measured. None of us would have received results in quite the way that they have, not even those affected by wartime. Perhaps in our modern-day culture of testing, results, OFSTED inspections and grading of schools and teachers and students, we should think a little more compassionately towards those who have worked and waited with patience. No matter what the future holds for them, may they ‘keep their hopes high’ and may God bless each and every one in the days that unfold before them.

Prayer:

Loving Lord,
Thank you for learners everywhere, for the thirst for knowledge and growth you inspire in us.
Thank you for teachers and guides, who support and sustain, who share the journey.
Thank you for examiners and testers, who set us the course to follow and push us to achieve our potential.
Grant to all who study, and those for whom new things are coming,
a sense of hope and excitement for the future
– a future in which you, Lord, are always beside us.
In the Lord’s name we offer this prayer. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Paul Tabraham.
Images freely available online.

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