St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 30th July 2020
Led by Rev Craig Meek
Welcome and Opening Sentences
Welcome to worship online with St. Giles’ Cathedral. Today is the 30th of July 2020 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 Jeremiah 18:1-6
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.
Consider for a moment with me what this passage has to say about the character of the Living God. Too often, the idea of God is simply a word without content – a collection of letters that bang around in our heads without substance or meaning. But this isn’t exactly the God about whom we read in the Scriptures, and in our passage today, Jeremiah is reminded that God is neither an idea nor a concept but rather the Living One – the Almighty; One who fashions beautiful things out of our fragmented and often distorted lives.
And so, who is this God? – we ask, when we read passages like these. Who is this God to whom we belong? Who is this God who welcomes our prayers, forgives our missteps, and cares about what we do with our lives and our personal freedoms? Who is this God who remains near always and without fail – Who not only pushes us from behind in this life, but also pulls us forward from ahead and encourages our every step along the way?
Our passage today provides us with a magnificent and wonderful answer: The Living God is one who is compassion and love; One who looks on a flawed people and world with mercy. The Living God is one who declares, both to ancient Israel in our text and perhaps also to us today that ‘like the clay in a potter’s hand’, so too are we in the hands of the Almighty and Merciful. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Together in Prayer
May we join together in prayer. Let us pray.
Holy and Almighty God, the one who loves with endless measure and whose kindness towards the world and its people is without end; hear our prayers again as we approach the throne of mercy. Grateful for the progress we’ve made in fighting an evil virus, we look forward and see a long road to recovery fraught with difficulties. May you lead our governments to act justly and for those with the burden of means to have compassion for others less fortunate in the days ahead. Keep always the plights of others before us and give us a restless conscience of the underprivileged. Teach us again to bless one another; to empower and dignify those around us; to care about the fortunes and futures of others as we continue through these strange and uncertain times together as a people and community.
Hear our prayers, Lord, for those whom we love both near and far. Give strength to those who are weak, and peace to those who are anxious and worried. In a world that continues to be plagued by chaos and destruction, may we all find something of your peace and loving kindness in the days and hours ahead.
Hear us, now, Lord as continue, praying the prayer that Jesus 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 you’ve enjoyed this devotion 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.
J.S.Bach Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 731