Daily Devotional reflections

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

Tuesday 30th July 2020



Apologies for the late posting of today’s reflection! Usually, writing the daily reflection is my third activity of the day. (One and two involve getting breakfast for me and the dogs!). Unfortunately, my routine was interrupted by trying to rescue a sparrow caught in the outside vent that runs from the hood over the cooker. Closer inspection revealed a nest with chicks. After getting the ladder from the garage I regret to inform you that my rescue was unsuccessful and we are wait a ‘man’ to come and dismantle the cooker hood and complete the rescue.

We humans can be a wee bit of obsessed about time. I remember a story about a visiting oil executive from America. He entered a church in Aberdeen that was known for having a rather longwinded minister. He confronted the unfortunate cleric at the end of the service. ‘Minister,’ he said, ‘back in Texas we have a saying. If you don’t strike oil with ten minutes stop boring!’ I also recently learned how one of the former Earl’s of Erroll (former owners of Slains Castle) would attend worship at Cruden Parish Church. Sitting in the Lairds Pew, if he felt the sermon was going on for to long, in full sight of the minister, would dangle his pocket watch from the front of the balcony.



Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I 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.


We humans live in liner or chronological time. For example, each year lasts for 365 ¼ days (or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be precise), hence the need for leap years. And we humans can expect to live for three score years and ten, which is 840 months, 25550 days, & 613200 hours. Due to success of modern medicine this has been extended. Average life expectancy in the UK is 82.9 years for women and 79.2 years for men. However, when viewed through the eyes of faith, time takes on a completely different meaning.

There is another type of time that is beyond our understanding. There is a type of time that has no beginning and no ending. There is a type of time that is continuous. It is known as eternity. This is where faith transcends our understanding. This is where our limited finite minds struggle to comprehend the mystery of God who is eternal. Our reading from Ecclesiastes puts it this way: ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.’ I do like that verse. God has put deep within the human heart a yearning for eternity, but we cannot figure it out in our strength!

One final thought. God’s time is the perfect time.


Intercessions for use during the pandemic

We pray to the LORD,
to the God who is our shelter and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.

We pray for our communities:
for the elderly, confined to their homes and separated from family and support; for children, removed from school; for those who have lost their source of income; for those who fear for their home; for those who have no home; for those offering extraordinary, everyday kindness; for …
The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Lord, you are in the midst of us:
help us in our time of trouble.

We pray for the young and those in education:
for those anxious about examinations, a place at university, or employment; for those worried about loved ones and friends; for those concerned about their own health; for…
The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Lord, you are our refuge and strength:
let us not be afraid, even though the world is changed.
We pray for key workers:
for all medical staff and hospital workers, who go to work knowing the risks they face; for medical researchers, seeking ways to prevent and to cure; for social workers, protecting the vulnerable; for care workers, providing contact and support to those who have no other help; for teachers, worrying about their charges; for farmers, delivery and shop workers, keeping the nation provisioned; for cleaners, fighting the spread of infection; for…
The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Lord, be with us in our time of need:
help us to do what has been asked of us,
and give us grace to help others do what has been asked of them.
We pray for the world:
for the leaders of the nations and their governments; for areas most besieged by the pandemic; for broken places where healthcare and resources are scarce, and the pandemic brings further suffering; for…
The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Lord, may the nations hear your voice:
and know that you are God,
supreme among the nations,
supreme over all the world.
We pray for those who are sick:
for those afflicted with coronavirus;
for those with other illnesses and conditions which leave them vulnerable;
for those with poor mental health; for all who suffer; remembering especially …
The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Lord, you are in the midst of us:
keep us fearless in proclaiming your Word and works,
and make us to be lights in the darkness.
Lord, may those who have waited for you
and hoped in your word
know your steadfast love face to face.
We offer up our hopes and fears,
our joys and sorrows
to God, our refuge and strength.
Lord, listen to our prayers,
and hear the voice of our supplications,
as we, who trust in your word,
eagerly await your help:
for you are the God of our salvation.
This we ask through your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

(Prayers by the Scottish Episcopal Church)

The Lord’s prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
you will be done,
on earth as 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.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


Let the majesty of the Father
be the light by which you walk,
the compassion of the Son
be the love by which you walk,
the presence of the Spirit
be the power by which you walk.