As we journey through these uncertain times, each day Sean will to seek post a thought or reflection, a Bible verse or a prayer.
Friday 1st May 2020
‘Our daily routine’
This is your day
and we shall praise you!
This is your day
and we shall declare your name!
This is your day,
and we shall worship
a risen Saviour and our King!
Today is the first of May, which in many countries is a public holiday. May Day is a spring festival – a reminder of the turning of season. The days are still getting longer and warmer. The birds are well into their nesting season. Whilst you can still glimpse snow on the northern corrie of Longnagar (if you are in the right location), the summer is almost upon us. (Will there be summer holidays this year?) Down in England, the May Day spring festival was celebrated with May Poles and Morris Dancing. Here is Scotland it was closely associated with the ancient festival of Beltane, recently resurrected as the Beltane Fire Festival on Carlton Hill in Edinburgh, which starts on the evening of April 30th and continues into the early hours of May Day.
Also associated with May Day is International Workers Day – a celebration of the working classes and labourers. In the Communist World this marked with massive military parades. Within the Roman Catholic tradition, 1 May is dedicated to "Saint Joseph the Worker". Joseph was of course Jesus ‘legal father’ and worked as a carpenter – a trade which we assume Jesus followed. Joseph is the patron saint of workers and craftsmen, among others.
Due to the pandemic caused by Covid19, most of these activities will not be taking place this year. Whilst the changing of the seasons continues unabated the routines of human life are stalled and hindered. Even the most routine aspects of our lives are mired in social distancing. No visits to hospitals or nursing homes. Grandparents unable to have contact with grandchildren. Bars, restaurants, pubs and cafes all closed. No wandering around the shops or garden centre. No communal activities. No golf or other sport. No going out for coffee. And no church. No personal pastoral visits, but phone calls. No communal worship. There isn’t even the sound of children playing in school playground or local park.
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
John 2:1-11 - Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b]
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him
16 Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
One things I especially like about Jesus is the way he indulged in the daily routines of life. He wasn’t a religious ascetic who hid in the wilderness. He was an everyday Jesus – earthed and rooted in the lives of common people. He enjoyed socialising and chilling out with friends and joining celebrations like a wedding. The Bible records many extraordinary events in Jesus’ life, but must not forget that he too had his routines.
There are certain routines that are central to the Christian Life. Worship, prayer, reading and studying the Bible (so that our understanding of God increases and faith deepens) and loving our neighbours. The absence of these routines leads to a malnourished discipleship. As a consequence, we do not benefit from the ‘life in all its fullness’ that Jesus promised and the church becomes further weakened and enfeebled.
What are the routines of your faith?
Do you need to restore the place of Jesus in your daily life?
What routines do you miss the most?
Don’t forget, the lockdown will come to pass. Routines will be restored. Communal life will begin again. In a little while the Kirk will reopen and will resonate with the worship and prayers of God people and the preaching of God’s work!
A Prayer of lament
Let us lament with all those who are touched by Covid19
Let us lament the cruelty of social isolation
Let us lament the fear and anxiety
Let us lament the social injustice in our land Let us lament the decline of the church and loss of faith Let us lament the loss of routine
Let us lament with the hearts broken by loss today
Let us lament all the lives cut short today
Let us lament, O God, and then let us rise from our knees to work for change.
In the name of Christ, the prince of peace. Amen.
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those children who will go hungry with no school meals.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those with no place to go.
May we who are merely losing some money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no money at all.
May we who settle in for quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country let us choose love. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbour.
Through Jesus Christ our Saviour, whose arms of love embrace us all.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. You will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.
May the love of Jesus Christ
bring us wholeness,
the grace of God the Father
grant us peace,
the breath of Holy Spirit
and the unity between them
give us strength
for this and every day.
Morning has broken