Daily Devotion 28 March 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.
Mark 10:42-45 ‘Jesus the Servant’

42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We are living through difficult days. It will take the combined effort of the many sections of our community working together to get through. This is not the time, indeed it is never the time, for us as the Christian community, to think only of ourselves and our own needs. As we are forced to spend time apart, we need to find ways to remain united in love and care and also to continue to serve the community as best we can, not least in our prayers.

The motto of the RAF Chaplain’s Branch: ‘Ministrare Non Ministrari’, translates ‘To serve, not to be served’ – it’s based on the words of Jesus in Mark 10:45 above. At this time in the life of our world, we pray especially for our neighbourhood. We are discovering new ways of being Church, and new forms of service and care for one another that even a few weeks ago we might never have imagined, and so we pray for those among whom we live and for the common humanity we share.
One of our padres who serves at RAF Brize Norton sent me this pertinent prayer to use as an alternative to a 20-second burst of Happy Birthday to You when washing your hands:

As I wash my hands today, wash my heart from fear, I pray;
wash my mind from needless fret, wash the world from deadly threat.
Wash the needy with your Grace, wash me as I seek your face.
Wash me, Jesus, every part, wash me: body, mind and heart.
Prayer:
Let us pray to our Father God who is with us today, even in the midst of our present trouble, and who invites us and inspires us to be the Church today:

We pray for our neighbours. Your Word and the present situation remind us that there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’; we share a common humanity, a common vulnerability and a responsibility for one another.

We bring before you our Government, those responsible for the many crucial decisions that have to be made at this time. Bless our leaders and give them wisdom and clear thinking for the task that falls to them today; and give us grace for the part that we can play in supporting them and praying for them.

We pray for those who are sick, especially in our circle of family and friends, and for those who are responsible for their care, remembering all who serve us in the NHS at this difficult and dangerous time. We give thanks for their courage and pray for their continued health and strength. Lord hear all our prayers. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Howard John.
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