St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 2nd June 2022
Led by Rev Douglas A O Nicol
The Psalmist wrote: ‘Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord; I have no good apart from you.’ (Psalm 16: 1-2)
Let us worship God.
Our Gospel reading is taken from St. Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 9:
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
Albert Schweitzer once wrote: ‘There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.’
In our reading today we have the record of Jesus’ call to His first disciples to serve human need, and we can but marvel that Jesus inspired them to service in such a way that their work has influenced the life of the world for 2000 years. Such a ripple-effect of loving service was inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised, and this coming Sunday on Pentecost Sunday we give thanks for the way in which His work is still a present reality.
As we today see the needs in our city and in the wider world we are reminded that the loving service Jesus inspired is still much needed, and within the list of disciples Jesus calls to action in our generation is surely our own. Let’s pause in our devotion today to ask if there is something fresh we could be doing to meet human need in our time … for through the giving of our time, talents and money – all inspired by the Holy Spirit – we could make a real difference today!
Teach us, good Lord,
to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward
save that of knowing that we do your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of righteousness, as we enter a weekend of celebration,
hear our prayer for the life of our country.
Bless our Queen as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee,
may she know joy and peace as she looks back over her reign.
Bless all in our nation,
help us to seek service before privilege,
public prosperity before private gain,
and the honour of your name
before the popularity of our own.
Give us liberty, peace, and joy,
and bind us in service to the community
and in loyalty to you
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Gracious God, we pray today for the nation of Ukraine, conscious of the tragedies
unfolding there day by day. We commend to You every diplomatic effort seeking
peace and humanitarian relief, and we commend to You all in need – the
injured, the bereaved, and all refugees.
Loving God, we remember before You this day
our families and loved ones.
May they know of Your hope and love
as they journey through their lives. We ask all these prayers in Jesus’ Name.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in 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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.
May the love of the Lord Jesus draw us to himself,
may the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in his service;
may the joy of the Lord Jesus fill our souls;
and may the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with you and abide with you always.
J.S.Bach Wir glauben all an einen Gott BWV 1098