Daily Devotion 28 October 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.

Jude 1-3 ‘The Opening of Jude’s Letter’

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James: To those who are called, who are beloved in God the Father and kept safe for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. 3 Beloved, while eagerly preparing to write to you about the salvation we share, I find it necessary to write and appeal to you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

Jude, whose Saint’s Day is today, the 28th October, was the younger brother of Jesus and James. He hurriedly wrote to a group of Christians, because he had heard about much false teaching. Jude deliberately singled out particular examples like Sodom and Gomorrah who succumbed to immorality, and Cain for murdering his brother. Jude wanted to stiffen resistance to these false teachers, and I recommend you to read this very short letter. It reaches its conclusion by encouraging readers to build themselves up by faith. Verses 24 and 25 says:

“To him who is able to keep you from falling
and to bring you faultless and joyful before his glorious presence.
To the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
be glory, majesty, might and authority, from all ages past,
and now and for ever and ever! Amen”.

The bible is full of examples of folk who had faith in God. There is the example of the friends in the gospels who were so anxious and sure that Jesus could cure their friend that they made a hole in the roof of the house and lifted him through, because of the crowds.

Sarah and I recently watched a programme of Cliff Richard’s hits over the years. One of them was the beautiful Millennium Prayer. We were told that despite it being at No. 1 in the charts for three weeks, it was the subject of much criticism and many stations even refused to play it. We were told that when Cliff announced he was a Christian in the 1960s, many fans were so upset because they believed that was the end of his career. How wrong they were!

Perhaps we have been in situations when having faith in God was sadly lacking, or, maybe, the exact opposite is the case and things turned out so well, whether it is with people we have met in our neighbourhood, work or in the church. As Jude says, we should “keep on building ourselves up on the most sacred faith” (Jude v.20).

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray that faith in you may be the hallmark
at Emmanuel and in the wider church,
so that others may come to know of your love for them,
and to go forward in your faithful footsteps.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Matthew Earl.
Images freely available online.

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