Daily Devotional reflections

As we journey through these uncertain times, each day Sean will to seek post a thought or reflection, a Bible verse or a prayer.

Monday 20th April 2020

'Yearning for Routine'

Today marks the end of the Easter holidays and the start of the summer school term, yet the playgrounds are empty and the classrooms silent. And who knows how long it will be till regular routines will return? Will the schools be back for a few weeks before the summer holidays? Or is life in lockdown till the autumn? For us in the church, how long will it be before our spiritual family can gather again? Being separated from the people we love and those routines which are such an essential part of our daily lives is turning out to be a strange and uncomfortable experience.

Routines are important for several reasons. Without routines we have no control over our lives. Routines are essential for making the best use of our limited time. For children unable to attend school developing consistency in their daily routines is known to reduce anxiety and apprehension. The consistency brings reassurance. The same is true of adults. Without routine our motivation decreases, we deviate from our responsibilities and we become frustrated and unproductive. One writer suggests that when we have an absence of routine it becomes harder to concentrate and we eat more chocolate!

For the church our main routine revolves around Sunday morning. We gather as a community of faith to worship God, to pray, to hear God’s word and reflecting how it applies to our daily lives. Like everything else this routine has been disrupted. Our attempts, so far, at arranging small group meetings via the internet have been a wee bit of a disaster!

Fortunately, there is plenty of content to nourish our souls. Religious broadcasting on TV has become more important to us. We all have access to the Bible etc. But what we all miss is the experience of community. This is one routine that I really yearn for!

Rev Sean Swindells
Cruden Parish Church


Ecclesiastes 3 - A Time for Everything

1There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9What do workers gain from their toil? 10I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet a no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.


Where is God in your daily routine? Do you make space for Him or is life just too busy?
In this time of lockdown, think about the routines that you would like to make a central part of your life?


For all whose day starts with anxiety,
as they leave the security of home
worrying about the risk of infection;
particularly those whose health
or age classifies them as vulnerable.
Loving God, be close, keep them safe,
along with all whose tasks today
includes the care of frail and elderly.
And for all of us, grant wisdom
to make sensible choices, not just
for ourselves, but for everybody.

Help us to put aside
about other people,
because that alters
our behaviour,
and simply accept
that they, like us,
are precious in your eyes.
Loving God, we give thanks
for the extended family
of local communities
assisting with the needs
of both frail and elderly
confined to their homes.
May every gift of love,
every encouraging word,
bring hope into lonely lives
and a blessing to the giver.

Lord, we would grow with you
New shoots reaching out
Hands stretched upward
Like leaves newly formed
Soaking up your light and warmth
Lord, we would grow with you
Lord, we would grow with you
In sunshine and rain
In darkness and light
In cold days and summer days
From Springtime to Winter
Lord, we would grow with you
Lord, we would grow with you
And bring forth fruit
That is pleasing to you
Fed by your living water
Giving sustenance to others
Lord, we would grow with you

A prayer for our nation

Heavenly Father, we turn our hearts to you. You are utterly faithful, and you have never failed us. Grant us hope, strength and mercy in our time of need. Enable us to throw our cares onto you, our mighty God.
O Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for those touched by the coronavirus, those who face sorrow, fear, illness and isolation. We ask for compassion, love, healing, and kindness. Make us a people living in your perfect love that we may drive away fear.
O Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for wisdom and clarity for those making key decisions, for scientists, medical experts, politicians and public health officials. We pray for acts of kindness to spread in every community.
Enable us to be quick to see need and respond in gracious and loving ways. Take us through this time of trial.
O Lord, hear our prayer.
In Jesus’ name


“Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7


Bless this house and those within.
Bless our giving and receiving.
Bless our words and conversation.
Bless our hands and recreation.
Bless our sowing and our growing.
Bless our coming and our going.
Bless all who enter and depart.
Bless this house, your peace impart.

What a friend we have in Jesus