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Devotions in Quarantine

Devotions and Encouragement, November 16, 2020

But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; 5for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 

1 Thess 5:4-6

Thought

The baptized receive this call, as the waters are poured upon us: “Light your light so shine  .  . . .’  We walk in and through the One who broke sin with the light of forgiveness; hate with the light of love; pain with the light of hope; and death with the light of resurrection.  We live in a world that groans under the shadow of constant turmoil as a candle shines steadily within us and among us:  The world is God’s, and God is with us, in Christ.  With us all, as the promise and presence of light.

Quote

The light of Chist illumines all.

-Gregory Palamas

Question

What does it mean to you that you are a child “of the light?”

For Children

Turn a light switch on and off, so that a room goes light and then dark.  Share with your children that darkness in Scripture does not refer in any way to the color of someone’s skin.  To be “in the dark” is to be in a place where there is sadness and pain.  Jesus names us all “children of the light”—we are in the place of his love, and mercy, and grace.  Even when the lights might go out.

Prayer

Keep me in your light, O God, through both night and day. 

Amen

Devotions and Encouragement, November 12, 2020

But let justice roll down like waters,
  and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

-Amos 5:24

Thought

Martin Luther said that while God doesn’t need our works, our neighbor does. What we do, how we live, how we respond to others, the small and great ways we work for justice and mercy matters.  We are called to listen to those who have known oppression, stand with them, and work toward the righting of systemic wrong.

To live toward God is to live for the neighbor. Our actions matter.  Our words matter. The scope of our lives matter.

Quote

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Question

What is one way you might let “justice roll down” in your life today?

For Children

Ask your children to share where a time when they have seen someone treated unfairly or seen someone bullied.  That’s never right! Talk with them about how they can help things get better. Talk with a parent, or teacher.  Be kind.  Share fairness, themselves.

Prayer

Let justice roll down like water in our lives, O God,

And righteousness like everflowing streams.

Amen


Devotions and Encouragement, November 11, 2020

As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 

-Matthew 25:6

Thought

In the Apostles’ Creed, we confess that Christ will “come again.”  The living Christ met us in the past; meets us in the present and will meet us in all the fullness of the kingdom in the day to come. 

Sometimes it’s easy to become drowsy to any of this, if not all.  The past seems too broken for redemption; Christ too far away.  We are blind or indifferent to Christ’s presence with us now.  And the future?  It can seem hard at times to see any hope there- much less the hope of the fullness of the kingdom of God.

But Christ does meet us in the past, with the promise of resurrection and life.  Christ does meet us now, working out that promise in the fabric of our lives. And Christ will meet us in the future, in the day in which every tear will indeed be wiped away from every eye.

The shout is there, even if it is whispered.  Our hearing is called to be attentive.

Quote

“If I knew the end of the world was tomorrow, I would go out and plant an apple seed.”

-Martin Luther

Question

When have you gone “drowsy” to the love of God in Christ?  How might this “drowsiness” have impacted your life?

For Children

Show your children a picture of a wedding—maybe yours.  Share with them why weddings are wonderful celebrations.  The church is called to be a celebration, just like that. We have sad times and hard times, but in between it all the celebration of God’s love in Jesus is with us.

Prayer

Gracious God,

Teach me to wait for your hand in my life with patience,

Nonetheless always expecting it to move.

Amen