Daily Devotion 30 June 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.

Luke 8: 4-8 ‘The Parable of the Sower’

4 When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: 5 ‘A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. 7 Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. 8 Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.’ As he said this, he called out, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’

Don Bradman – 0. Bowled by Eric Hollies in his last test innings at The Oval in 1948.

Any vaguely serious cricket fan knows what Sir Don Bradman’s batting average is: 99.94 runs every time he went out to bat. Seriously good. Unbelievably good. Not just above everyone else of his day, but stratospherically above everyone else. And not just better than his contemporaries, but 30-40 runs better than anyone else since – even in these days with heavier bats, shorter boundaries and bowling restrictions. In his last innings in 1948 Bradman only needed four runs – just four! – and he would end his career averaging 100 every time he went out to bat. It wasn’t to be, and the rest, they say, is history.

This reading from Luke came to mind today, along with Bradman’s unique story, because today is Emmanuel’s 100th Daily Devotion. I feel no relief at having made it to 100 – if anything it’s too poignant that we have even needed to get to this number, this way, under such difficult circumstances. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all have this parable, and Jesus says the seed fell into good soil and produced a hundredfold. It stands to reason, doesn’t it? Seed which is ready for growing, ready to be sown, ready to burgeon into new life, expands and explodes in size and substance because of the good soil which receives it, and provides the best conditions for growth.

So today’s devotion, more than anything, is simply one of thanksgiving. We’ve needed some nourishing in these days, haven’t we? Some seed to be planted in us to help us learn, or pray, or grow, or reflect. So today, join with me in saying prayers of thanksgiving for all those who have provided these devotions for these days, and whose wisdom has been God’s word for us:

Hazel Blake, Ann Caffyn, Nancy Davis, Matthew Earl, Gordon Harrison, Carol Jewell, Howard John, Roger McAvoy, Andy Melvin, Derek Scott, Memona Shahbaz, Charly and Sarah Skelton, Jim and Maggie Stirmey, Barrie Tabraham, Dayve Walshe, Gillian Wood.

Thank you all for your part in growing faith within each one of us, for every word, sentence, and thought which has spoken of the love of God when we have needed to hear it. May we continue to be blessed by God’s word in these days ahead, and for as long as we need.

Prayer:

We thank you, gracious and creating God,
for providing for us in deep need and anxiety, your Holy Word.
We thank you for the peace, encouragement, and growth we have received,
by the gifts of others, and by the gift of your Holy Spirit working away inside us
as we reflect upon, and wrestle with your Word.
May we continue to grow in faith as in life. In Jesus’ name, our Saviour. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Paul Tabraham.
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