Daily Devotion 28 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.

John 21:24-25 ‘More than Words’

24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

There’s no punctuation in the fragments of manuscripts which make up the New Testament: no commas, no full stops, quotation marks or semi-colons. The writers/copiers didn’t usually include spaces between words eithers, and certainly didn’t bother with chapters and verses – all these things were added later. In my humble opinion (IMHO), the writer of the Fourth Gospel – had he used punctuation – would have finished with at least one exclamation mark! Like this one! And maybe even TWO!! Like that!! Oh no – it’s catching!!!

Why do I think this? It’s because I can’t imagine anything other than a small but wise smile on the face of the writer of that wonderful last verse. There’s nothing literal for me in that last sentence, it just gives a beautiful, miraculous sense of the love in the words and deeds of Jesus Christ which cannot be contained in words, texts, Gospels and books. It’s as if the writer is desperately keen to make sure that we don’t just stop at the end of the Fourth Gospel – we have to carry on reading, carry on trying to learn and understand, carry on trying to discern the mind and will of God, and his ongoing love for us. We often speak of Christ with us in the here and now in a sense – through prayer, Holy Communion, the spirit of God always near, and similarly John 24:25 suggests we’re not finished yet.

463 Daily Devotions after our first, these little gems are in one sense coming to an end. One large book would certainly be sufficient to contain all of them, let alone all the books in all the world (and who knows, maybe they’ll end up in one someday?). They have enriched us, sustained us, made us wonder, helped us explore previously unfamiliar bits of the Bible, broadened our understanding of Creation, Forgiveness, Mercy, Grace, the Spirit, Miracles, and more. They have given us a focus of devotion in our discipleship which may not have been there before, and also have reminded us in pandemic that God continues to listen, continues to speak, and is the one on whom we must depend – daily. So thank you to each and every contributor, and to Charly for sorting them all out one way or another onto the website.

But don’t worry…even after 463 Devotions, more are being sent in, so we’re going to have one a month in our Magazine. If you have benefited from these, I would also urge you to put your name forward for a Discipleship Group when these begin in the Autumn – because you’ll find your faith continuing to be nurtured and affirmed through these. May our faith and fellowship grow in every sense as 2021 unfolds, as we journey knowing God’s word to us never ends.

Prayer:

Thank you, God of Love, for words and witness, for friends and fellowship, for faith and the journeys we’re each on. But most of all, for your unending love for your people in Christ. Amen.

Reflection © 2021 Paul Tabraham.
Image freely available online.

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