St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 3rd December 2020
Led by Rev Craig Meek
Welcome to worship online with St. Giles’ Cathedral. Today is the 3rd of December 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 listen together for a Word from our Lord.
A Reading from Matthew 7:21, 24-27
21‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.’ (…) 24‘Everyone then who hears these words and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell – and great was its fall!’
A Reflection offered in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Friends, I am not a handy person. The things that I build fall apart – usually within days, if not hours. And yet, I insist on building things when I have the chance. I am not very good cook, and yet I insist on cooking intricate meals that amount to little more a difficult swallow. I am an outright terrible hill-walker (or hill-hiker for our North American friends listening out there), and yet I love gearing up for a long walk upon which I am bound to either lose my way or turn back when I get too tired. But nevertheless, I’ll never quit building; I’ll never quit cooking; and I’ll never quit hiking – or hill-walking.
Human beings are a bundle of contradictions; every one of us. We know what is required of us, and yet struggle to do these things. We know well the things to which we are to cleave in this life, and yet we so often we find ourselves cleaving to things which don’t really matter, things which fade and wither. We know the love of God in Jesus Christ – of how it chases after us at every moment of our lives – and yet, so often we chase after other gods and loves. We are a bundle of contradictions; every one of us.
And yet, God’s love for us and our world in Jesus Christ knows no limits. For God never asked us to be anything other than ourselves – even if we are a bundle of contradictions – and to be as faithful in each moment as we can. In doing so, we surely build our houses on the solid rock of Christ Jesus, where not even death can destroy it. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Together in Prayer
Holy and Loving God, our lives are bundles of contradictions, and yet you claim them anyway in Jesus Christ your Son. Whether in times of need; times of joy; or times of indifference, you chase after us, calling us by name and bidding our response – our letting ourselves be loved again and again. May you never tire of chasing after us, and may we never tire of being loved by you, especially in those moments where we find it hard to love ourselves and others.
Lord God, there are a lot of people in our world who hurt, whose lives are marked by darkness, oppression, and distortion rather than light, freedom, and peace. Release the captives, Lord, and bind up the wounds of the many; empower and direct your church to give life to those without and to speak for those who have no voice. Let us not become complacent in your love but rather alive and active, sharing its rhythms with the world.
We pray, Lord, for those who find this season particularly difficult. For anyone who knows the sorrow of grief and loss; for anyone lonely or depressed; for these we make our prayer today and ask that you would draw near to them and bring them peace. For these things we pray in the name of Christ Jesus, who taught his friends to say together…
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.
Dieterich Buxtehude Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland