Monday May 11th, a thought from Svetlana Khobnya
We feel the presence of God in different ways: when we receive a response that we were waiting for and prayed for a long time, when our fears are finally gone, when we feel uplifted while we sing songs of praise, when we come to the Lord’s Table together, when we mourn or rejoice together. Nowadays, we experience God’s presence in a new way when we “Zoom” to worship. The list goes on. But, according to John, God is simply present when we love.
“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them”
(1 John 4:16)
In this time of lockdown NHS workers are risking their lives to help others. Friends, neighbours, and strangers offer to do shopping, wash cars and pavements for each other, exchange small gifts, send cards of encouragement, and bring food to the doorstep. I see acts of love happening on a daily basis and to me, this is a visible sign of God’s presence in the world. I pray that love will continuously be perfected among us and for God’s persisting and encouraging presence!
Tuesday May 12th, a thought from Colin McConkey
There's a lot of fear but a lot more freedom There's a lot of darkness but a lot more light There's a lot of cloud but a lot more vision There's a lot of perishing but a lot more life Oh outrageous grace, oh outrageous grace Love unfurled by heaven's hand Oh outrageous grace, oh outrageous grace Through my Jesus I can stand There's an enemy That seeks to kill what it can't control It twists and turns Making mountains out of molehills But I will call on my Lord Who is worthy of praise I run to Him and I am saved.
This is part of a song by Robin Mark called outrageous grace. The song has been playing as background music in my head during this time of Covid 19. So many aspects of it resonate with me. ‘Mountains out of molehills’ – that’s me. I am now at the point where I know through my Jesus I can stand.
Wednesday May 13th, a thought from Steve Birkinshaw
I’ve just finished recording a song for our children, ‘Faith as small as a mustard seed’ – if you’re familiar then have a quick sing! The verse comes from Matthew 17, where Jesus is chiding the disciples for lack of faith. We all have doubts and question God at times … to do so is only human.
Living in these ‘peculiar’ times we hear lots of information and promises – as well as claims and opinions – about the Government’s mistakes and the best way forward. It’s hard to know in whom or what we should place our faith. Jesus never said our God-centred, Christ-following lives will be easy or doubt-free. However, he does remind us where – and indeed in whom – the source and focus of our faith should be … in God our Father.
‘Lord, increase our faith’ that we might see you kingdom come and will be done.
Thursday May 14th, a thought from Nicole McConkey
The bedtime reading for our youngest last night was Psalm 100. And it was one of those moments, when God was so close, whispering majesty and glory into an ordinary bedtime routine. Many years ago, we sang “Jauchzet dem Herrn” by Felix Mendelssohn in our school’s chamber choir. A wonderfully inspired piece of choral music. (look it up if you get a chance) And just like that I was reminded of the greatness of God and my own smallness – in a good way. In that moment there was this sense of ‘I don’t know how or when or what it will look like, but it’s going to be okay’. Because we “Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us and we are his.” Psalm 100:3. Maybe we can take a moment today to simply praise and worship God – may all we do, the ordinary and extraordinary, be filled with the Saviour’s presence.
Friday May 15th, a thought from Nicole McConkey
I am a “the glass is half empty”- type person. You are right, that is neither helpful in general nor during lockdown. God has a lot of work to do in my life. However, it is also up to me to change. So, I decided I want to see the ‘Silver Linings’. I want to be thankful for the small things: the sunshine – I mean when was the last time we had so much sun for so long? I am thankful every time an item on my shopping list is available; that the green recycling bins are getting emptied again! For the intentional family moments and the meals cooked from scratch. And that even when I don’t get anything right some days, my family and my Saviour are patient and continue to love me. – What are YOU thankful for today?
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Saturday May 16th, a thought from Nic Healer
Singing has become a big part of my life now as I attempt to calm Jethro down and maybe get him to nap. Multiple times a day I now sing I cast my mind to Calvary, or I’m called out upon the water (I also shake it off and walk once upon a dream, with dancing). It’s become a habit of worship for me in my day, where I realise I’m singing whilst wandering around with Jethro without him being upset and it’s meant that I’ve found more room for worship in my day, as I try to put on my worship playlist whilst we’re having our play times. These moments have been surprising but so welcome in my day, I feel so connected to God when Jethro calms down to my time of worship and praise and I am reminded that God is always with me, even in the littlest moments.