St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 4 June 2020
Led by Rev Craig Meek
Welcome and opening Sentences
Welcome to today’s online devotion with St. Giles’ Cathedral; on this Thursday, the 4th of June in 2020.
The Psalmist tells us that they are happy who delight in the law of the Lord, who meditate upon it day and night. For they are like trees planted near streams of water; they yield their fruit in its season and prosper in all that they do. However, the way of the wicked is different; they are like chaff that the wind drives away.
For the Lord watches over the righteous, writes the Psalmist; but the way of the wicked will perish.
Our Lesson from Holy Scripture today is taken from the Gospel according to St. John, chapter 17. Friends, hear these, the words of Jesus:
‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
25 ‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’
This is the Word of the Lord, thanks be to God.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I offer this brief reflection in the hope that it is useful to whatever God might be up to in the lives of those, who like me, are dismayed at what we see and read about across the world. From Hong Kong to Palestine; to Brazil and the United States, creation groans for redemption – for healing and for justice. But even amidst these groans, I like to think that we can still hear the muted voice of hope; that we can still find those selfless demonstrations of love that frustrate the power of evil and bigotry in our world.
As a white, privileged American living in Scotland, it is difficult to put into words the kind of affections and emotions that recent and current events in the United States stir up inside of me, and so I won’t try. I’ll choose instead to listen; to listen for that muted voice of hope among those who have been ignored. I’ll choose instead to look for the helpers; for those who speak truth to power and risk their lives for the sake of others, and for the sake of justice and equality. I’ll choose instead to be led; led by those from whom I am different, and to empathize better with their struggle as a way of learning how to participate and support them. For these voices and these people have a lot to teach me about the love of Jesus, and they need to be heard.
Holy and Almighty God,
Hear the lament of your people – of the underprivileged in our streets; of those isolated who live in fear; of the oppressed in Hong Kong; of the abused and mistreated in every land; of the downtrodden and hopeless; of the refugee and the migrant; of the person of color; of the Palestinian; of anyone who is made to feel like an alien in their own land – or in their own skin.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
God of the oppressed, listen to the voice of the voiceless; feel the anger of the broken-hearted; take notice of those in despair and know their suffering; deliver them from evil. Break the yoke of the taskmaster. Loosen the chains of anguish and draw near to those who grieve. Repair the wounds that seem to never heal.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy, on your people – wherever they are found.
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 in heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread
Forgives 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 and ever. Amen.
Friends, I appreciate your joining us for a few moments of reflection and prayer. As you continue about your day, 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. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Dieterich Buxtehude Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott BuxWV 199