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.

Friday 24th July 2020


Where does our help come from?

One of the few positive outcomes of the current Covid 19 pandemic and lockdown, is the amount of help that has become available. Both of the key communities of our parish (Hatton & Cruden Bay) have been well supported by professionals and volunteers. Whether it has been the staff in the schools, local medical centre, pharmacies, shops etc., so many people have gone the extra mile.

It has also been interesting how local volunteers have stepped forward, offering shopping, delivering prescriptions etc. It is good to know there are still many good neighbours willing to help and so many people worthy of a mention. And who knows what would have happened if wasn’t for the staff of the NHS hadn’t worked so hard and made so many sacrifices?


Psalm 121

A song of ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.


One of the key pictures that emerge from Psalm 121 is God as protector, companion and guide. A God who does not slumber and watches over our life, which also can be translated watches over our soul. The final verse is especially interesting. He even watches over our comings and goings. The suggestion here is that God watches over us not just in this life, but in the life to come. This sentiment is finely expressed in the words of a 19th Century American missionary and preacher, Adoniram Judson: ”He has not led me so tenderly thus far to forsake me at the very gate of heaven.”

Yet the help which God offers is not just limited to the next life. God’s help can be encountered in the concrete reality of this life. It is my conviction that God helps us more than we notice or imagine. This does not mean God offers a quick fix for every problem or a comfort blanket for every experience of pain. But according to the Bible God helps us in many different ways, including surprising answers to prayer, love, peace, joy, freedom, forgiveness, life, rest, heaven, to be part of a family. Who wouldn’t want that?

So irrespective of where you are starting from – yearning for a purpose and meaning that is deeper than material things of this passing word, or facing bereavement, redundancy or other painful experiences – why not seek the help of a higher hand? Why not find rest for soul and discover a life is deeper and richer? After all where does our help come from? The transient things of this world or from our creator who watches over your life?

Rev Sean Swindells
Cruden Parish Church


Let us pray

Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth.
You made magnificent mountains and the oceans,
the tiny worms and bugs, and everything in between.
And, you made us.
You are amazing and powerful, yet you love each of us dearly.
Thank you for guiding our lives and ruling all of creation.
In the knowledge of your love and your power,
we bring before you our prayers for our world.

Lord of Hosts,
Guide the leaders of our world and give your wisdom to all who are making decisions.
Send your peace on earth.
In you alone, the maker of heaven and earth, we find our help.
Gracious God,
May our Christian friends throughout the world feel your power and strength.
Bring an end to the fighting among believers
and the persecution of believers by unbelievers.
Give our church leaders courage and compassion.
In you alone, the maker of heaven and earth, we find our help.

God of compassion,
Bless us and those we love with safety, health, endurance.
In you alone, the maker of heaven and earth, we find our help.
Our help comes from you,
the Maker of heaven and earth for you watches over us day and night and you have provided for all we need through Jesus Christ our Lord,

In our prayers today, let us remember…
The people we love, especially those going through difficult times.
The people we do not know, whose suffering is silent and unknown.
The church - as we begin prepare and plan to reopen that it will not be a return to buisness as usual, but a time of spiritual renewal.
Ourselves – for a closer walk with Jesus

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.


So now we leave this space of worship
And while so much of the road ahead is uncertain,
the path constantly changing,
we know some things that are as solid and sure
as the ground beneath our feet,
and the sky above our heads.
We know God is love.
We know Christ’s light endures.
We know the Holy Spirit this there,
found in the space between all things,
closer to us than our next breath,
binding us to each other,
until we meet we again,
Go in peace.