Daily Devotion for NPC Friday, April 24, 2020 The 2nd Friday of Easter
I sent out the first of these daily devotionals a month ago, on March 24. No wonder it seems we’ve been staying home for a long time. We have been. And as Yvonne said yesterday, our responses have run the gamut: surprised, worried, grateful, uncertain, incredulous, relieved, skeptical, fed up, bored, angry, relaxed, at peace, scared, scarred, … spin, rinse, repeat.
I started offering these daily prompts to keep before us the task of staying connected to God and to one another for the duration of this crisis. (And it is a task, it is work.) The task continues, and therefore so do these daily devotions.
Hang on. When has this task not been before us? And when this task has been “easier,” how well have we done at it?
When supply is high, demand tends to be low …
There are rumblings that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and there are indignant rumblings in response. Mumblings at TV sets and computer screens, incredulous reactions to the prospects of either opening up or staying locked down, respectful admiration for some leaders and disgusted disdain for others.
What else is new?
While writing the first of these devotionals, I fumbled around for serviceable language. “Unprecedented,” came to mind, and I used it. Then I felt validated when others used it. Now I’m bored with it. Our situation reconfirms its status as “unprecedented” every day; at the same time, every day I am a bit more accustomed to it. After a while, a precedent has been set, and what was unprecedented has edged toward becoming a new normal.
And our task remains the same. What are we going to do today? Prayer
Take a deep breath, be still for a moment; then pray, perhaps, Lord, open my heart and my mind to your presence, to your affection, to your resolve to pursue me until I notice that you have found me. Sit with me now, use these moments to re-weld me to you. In Jesus’ name, amen. Scripture Readings
Read each scripture slowly once, then slowly out loud. When a word or phrase stands out to you, read it again, say it again, a few times.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
2 Corinthians 4:1 - 11, 16 - 18
We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. …
So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
Lord God, you watch over me, you watch over us. Always. You never slumber. You never sleep. You never take a break. And you don’t get bored or weary. You are faithful; you are always doing your “job.” Help me, help us, receive from you in these minutes, on this day, your sustaining love and grace. Holy Spirit, empower me, empower us, in these minutes, on this day, to remain engaged in the task at hand. Help us not lose heart. Help us feel the weight of glory. Renew us, we pray, even now, in these moments, on this day. In Jesus’ name, amen. Pray ...
for ongoing insight about the applicability of these passages for you
for an awareness of God’s love and tenderness toward you,
for yourself and your loved ones.
for our church, our community, and our world, particularly in light of the pandemic
Thank God for meeting you, for the opportunity to sit, read, and pray, and pray for an awareness of God's presence through the day
Northminster Presbyterian Church 400 Rancheria Road | Diamond Bar, CA 91765 | PH: (909) 861-4715