St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 8th July 2021
Led by Rev Sigrid Marten
Welcome to the Midweek Devotions at St. Giles Cathedral. My name is Sigrid Marten. I am the new Associate Minister who has recently joined the ministry team.
In the book of Revelation we hear God’s word for us,
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the beginning and the end.
To the thirsty I will give water
as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
Let us worship God.
Our scripture reading for today comes from Psalm 85:8-13.
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.
At this time of year many people are looking for an opportunity to slow down. There is hope for a change from the daily routines and the hard work of the weeks and months that have gone before. And even if not everyone shares the sense of entitlement for a holiday in the sun that some folk express, after the year and a half we have had due to the pandemic, many of us will have a sense that they are worn down, exhausted and in need of restoration.
So, what can it mean to us that, in the words of our psalm, “God will speak peace to his people”, that “his salvation is at hand”? The promise is that if we turn to God in our hearts, we will find that peace, that salvation, that there will be moments when everything comes together to create glimpses of the kingdom of heaven that Jesus proclaimed.
This can sustain us and replenish those springs of the living water within us that God offers in Christ. Regardless of whether we will be able to go far for a break from whatever the past year may have thrown at us, the Good News is that we can always turn to the living God who will offer us peace and salvation, to the one who is the water of life for us, the wellspring of our being. So, wherever we find ourselves, may there be opportunities to take the time to stop and listen, to tap into the deep wells of our faith, to find that peace that passes all human understanding. In that way we can learn again to live as children of the living God and friends of Jesus Christ.
Let us pray.
God of life,
if this past year has taught us anything,
it is that our resources are limited,
that we all have our breaking point,
that relying on our own strength alone is a dangerous strategy.
In our local communities and in our churches
we have been reminded
that we need each other,
that much good can happen
when people of good will work together,
and we have discovered hidden gifts.
As people of faith we know
that you are the source of our strength,
that we will find peace,
true peace, only in you,
that your love sustains us and holds us.
We thank you for all that has kept us going,
we thank you for people
who have reminded us of your care,
we thank you for the knowledge
that we are not alone.
For those times when we forget
to put our trust in you,
we ask that you help us
to turn to you in our hearts,
and to find you in the unexpected places,
that we will hear your voice
through the clamour of the day,
in the silence of the house,
the song of a bird,
or the soft song of the summer rain.
We ask it in Jesus’ name who taught us to pray together:
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,
Words of a Celtic blessing:
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
deep peace of the flowing air to you,
deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
deep peace of the shining stars to you,
deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
J.S.Bach Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten BWV 647