Midweek Devotion 14/1/21

St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 14th January 2021
Led by Rev Calum I MacLeod

The psalmist says: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Let us worship God.

The lesson is written in the Gospel of Luke in chapter 6

6 On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. 7The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. 8Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come and stand here.’ He got up and stood there. 9Then Jesus said to them, ‘I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?’ 10After looking around at all of them, he said to him, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was restored. 11But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

The word of the Lord; thanks be to God

Reflection

As usual on the sabbath, I went to the synagogue for the service – after all that is what we are supposed to do. It is in the scriptures, isn’t it – about ‘remembering the sabbath and keeping it holy.’

No working – because God rested on the seventh day after creating everything that exists in the previous six – boy, God deserved that day off!

Anyway there was a guest preacher that day; local guy who had made something of a name for himself, and in the course of making a name he had really annoyed some of the clergy. There was quite a buzz as people wondered if he was going to be controversial in what he said, and what the religious leaders would do if he was.

So he starts on about the sabbath and what the scripture means about keeping the sabbath holy. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather when, right in the middle of the sermon, he stops, looks at ME, and says, ‘Come and stand here.’

Little old me! I don’t normally catch people’s attention; in fact most people kind of avoid me because of my useless hand. The kids make fun of me sometimes but the adults just tend to overlook me.

I wasn’t sure what was happening; I was so shocked that it all became a bit of a blur. All I knew was that I could feel blood pumping into my hand and it throbbing with feeling and life and strength….I heard him say something about law and sabbath and life.

The ayatollahs are all mad at him – they say he broke the law.

He changed my life.

 

Prayer

We pray for the church throughout the world,
that it would be the bright lamp of faith,
true to your calling as God’s own people.
Where the Church is persecuted, Lord, bring deliverance;
where it is divided bring healing;
where it sides with the powerful, challenge it;
where it cares for the poorest, bless it.

For the world we pray, a world struggling in the face of a pandemic.
Bring hope to those affected
and wisdom to those who care and heal.

Hear our prayers for peace between peoples,
and for the promotion of tolerance, justice
and equality in our world.

For ourselves we pray,
in all our celebrations and disappointments.

Grant your hand of healing on the sick,
your embrace of presence to the dying,
the promise of victory
to those who have gone before us in the faith,
and with whom we pray we will be reunited
in the fullness of your eternal light.

O Lord hear our prayers for ourselves and others as we join together in the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father,
which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil;
for thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory
for ever and ever, Amen.

The Benediction
Be of good courage, render no-one evil for evil,
but hold fast to the good; honour all of God’s people,
and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the Communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you
and all whom you love
this day and for ever.

(Amen)

Organ Music
Louis Vierne Légende