April 15, 2020

     

 

Beloved Carstairs Bancroft United Church Members,

Today, I chose to forward you the daily devotion from my friend, Rev. Alice. I found those words encouraging and I trust that you will, too.

We always need encouraging words, and an assurance that we are beloved and valuable in someone’s eyes. However, it is even more so when we find ourselves in tough situations. So, for me it was really nice to hear the olden words – which are as true now as they were back then – about God’s good plans and love for us.

May these words give strength and hope to all of you!

Grace and Peace to You All,

Rev. Maria

 

You will be with me — no matter what!

 

“God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him.” / 1 Thess. 5:9–10

 

Awake or asleep (that is code for “live or die”) we will be alive with God. How is it possible?

I am a sinner, you are a sinner. We have never lived a day of our life without falling short of God’s standard of holiness. How can God say, “You will be with me — no matter what”?

The answer is Jesus, Jesus alone. Because of his death, there will be no punishment or wrath for us. Not because of our goodness or decency, let alone perfection. The punishment for our sins fell on Jesus Christ. He died for us means that He was punished on our behalf receiving the death penalty for us, so we are free from guilt.

Lot of people say, “Religious people can find hope only in the by-and-by. But we can not be sure of the here and now, can we?”

I do not know if you remember English Grammar from school… Present Continuous Tense (I am sitting, I am writing, you are reading, etc.) God is outside time and space, therefore for God every moment is “Present Continuous” — not just the “now” but any moment in the past or any moment in the future.

Next week for us has not happened yet, but God is already there. God is there for you.

God is good. Thanks be to God.

 

Prayer:

Great God, You are an ever-present help in times of trouble, and that is why we are praying now.

We are troubled and we are worried things are going to get more troubling.

This virus is spreading around the world: so many are seriously ill or will be seriously ill, so many health care systems are stretched.

Be with front line medical workers, give them courage to do their work and keep them safe.

Be with public health officials as they make decisions for the common good, and politicians as they roll those decisions out.

Help us to be kind to one another, because anxiety can make us snappy.

Help our communities to be resilient and expansive as we reach out to help all who are isolated and afraid.

In these times of shutdowns and slowdowns, when travel is restricted or banned, as routines are disrupted and we spend less time together or more time together, help us zero in on what is essential.

Thank You that love is also contagious and stronger than any virus.

You will be with us, and we will be with each other in sickness and in health. Amen.

Devotion by Rev. Alice

Used with permission