St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 12th November 2020
Led by Rev. Craig Meek
Welcome to worship online with St. Giles’ Cathedral. Today is the 12th of November and my name is Craig Meek; I am the Assistant Minister here at the Cathedral, and I’m delighted that you’ve joined us from wherever you are today for a few moments of prayerful reflection. May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and with those whom you love you today, friends. Let us worship the Living God, together.
A Reading from Psalm 146
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign for ever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord
About which God does the Psalmist write? I wonder. Who is this God that the Psalmist showers with praise, recalling its goodness, faithfulness, and miraculous deeds that give life to the world? Perhaps a better question for us to reflect upon today is this: Where is this God now? In a world that continues to cry out for the very things celebrated by the Psalmist; a world filled with pandemic, loneliness, and injustices, where is the God who made heaven and earth, and the sea, all that is in them? – the God who executes justice for the oppressed, who sets prisoners free, and who opens the eyes of blind? Where is the God whose love is mighty, whose mercy is unending, and whose faithfulness stretches to the skies?
In a world that readily invites our disbelief and skepticism about the transcendent, the Psalmist reminds us again that there is more to our lives than hardship, sorrow, and disfunction; more to this world than unjust rulers and unfair systems. There is a living God who is faithful, even when we fail to see how. There is a living God who directs all things towards the good, bringing the ways of the wicked to ruin and life in abundance to those in need, even if we must wait to see these things in full. What the Psalmist reminds us today is that our lives have a transcendent dimension, a divine orientation that bids our hope in the one to whom our lives belong. For, as the Psalmist says, the Living God keeps faith forever, bending the distortions of humankind throughout history towards a redemption that will see all things made new. The Living God is but the Lord Almighty, the one who stoops down from on high to save; the one who reigns forever, inviting both our praise today and hope for tomorrow. Praise be to the Lord, indeed. Praise be to the Living God.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Together in Prayer
May we join together in prayer, friends. Let us pray.
Holy and Almighty God, whose love never quits on us and whose faithfulness stretches through the sky, hear our prayers again, as approach the throne of mercy with both burdens and thanksgiving.
Hear our prayers, Lord, for the world and its people. Lift the burdens of those weighed down and give strength to any and all who might need it. We pray for our friends and our family members, committing them to your care and asking your blessing upon them in the days ahead.
Reminded again of your faithfulness, may you encourage our hearts today and strengthen our resolve in the days ahead, both guiding our paths and directing our love towards others. Hear us, now, Lord as we carry on in our prayers together, saying that which Jesus taught his friends to say:
Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.
Friends, I hope that this brief devotion has been an encouragement to your today, and that you’ll join us again another time. Until then, may the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace, both this day and for evermore. Amen.
Henry Purcell Voluntary in G Z720