Daily Devotion 22 June 2021

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.

Luke 10:25-28 ‘Keeping our Hearts with God’

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ 27 He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ 28 And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’

‘King of Glory, King of Peace’
George Herbert (1593-1633)
King of Glory, King of Peace, I will love thee;
and that love may never cease I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request, thou hast heard me;
thou didst note my working breast, thou hast spared me.
Wherefore with my utmost art I will sing thee,
and the cream of all my heart I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried, thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied, thou didst hear me.
Seven whole days, not one in seven, I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven, I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort to enrol thee:
e’en eternity’s too short to extol thee.

At the moment I am reading God’s Smuggler by a Dutchman called Brother Andrew, who sixty years ago was inspired to smuggle thousands of Bibles into Communist Eastern Europe over the years. Christians behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ had never felt more alone. He himself had undergone a change in his life and he felt called to the work and the book tells of how his faith grew from nothing to God will provide. Andrew went from church to church and group to group as the appetite of the people was huge. In many countries a Bible was scarce or non-existent. It has made me think of my faith and commitment and I remembered the hymn on the right.  The number ‘seven’ appears many times in the Bible from the day of rest in Genesis to leaving a field to rest in the seventh year. The fall of Jericho revolves around seven days.

Today, our society views Sunday as just another day, but when I think of Brother Andrew and the work of many who care, it becomes a special day, JUST as all other days. George Herbert’s hymn reminds us that we are ‘cleared’ of all that is wrong in our lives, if we listen to God’s voice. The final verse extols us to praise him in all we do each day of the week. It is what is within our hearts rather than rules that we should remember, as Jesus reminded the Pharisees. Thus the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. So the day of rest is for our physical and spiritual good. We only have to think of the story of the Good Samaritan to think of ‘seven whole days, not one in seven, I will praise thee’, when the need is in front of our eyes.

Prayer:
For prayer, I invite you to pray through the words of the hymn above.

Reflection © 2021 Matthew Earl.
Image freely available online.
Hymn words no longer in copyright.

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