St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 21st April 2022
Led by Rev Craig Meek
Welcome everyone to another online Devotion with St. Giles’ Cathedral. My name is Craig Meek, I’m one of the Assistant Ministers at St. Giles’, and I’m delighted that you’ve joined me today for a few moments of reflection and prayer together. May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today, friends, and with all whom you love. Let us pray.
Holy and Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of your people. And so, grant us the grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Lesson – Psalm 8
1 O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour.
6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
‘What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? – writes the psalmist. One of the scandals of the Christian faith is our belief that the Living God actually cares about human beings; that is, about you – about me – and about all the creatures of the world. In many ways, this is one of the things that sets the Christian God apart from the gods worshiped in other faith traditions; for rather than standing far and away in the distance or demanding some kind of arbitrary obedience as a means to earning a blissful and eternal life, the Living God in the Christian faith is believed to be near, compassionate, and merciful. Like a divine parent that cares for its children, the Living God directs our paths and shapes our lives, but in ways that somehow allow us also to walk freely and in the directions we choose.
Regardless of wherever we go, however, one of the more striking features of the Christian faith is the belief that God walks alongside us, stride for stride, in both our ups and our downs. For this is what it means for God’s sovereignty to be conditioned by God’s love for creation and its creatures. This is what it means for God’s love to be directed towards you – and towards me. And my hope, friends, is that you might know intimately something of that love today. For its part of what makes the Christian faith wonderfully life-giving and freeing. Let us pray.
Holy and Almighty God, the one who loves unconditionally and with reckless abandonment the world and its people, remind us again of your unfailing faithfulness and mercy. For though the world invites us to ignore your presence alongside us; to forget the many blessings you bestow upon us; and to despair in those moments where your voice becomes silent and your absence is felt, give us the courage to remember the words of the Psalmist and keep watch that we might be surprised by your love all over again. For this we pray in the name of Christ Jesus, who taught his friends to say together:
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is heaven. Given 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.
Dieterich Buxtehude Ciacona in G