January 9 Devotional

Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.

Opening Prayer: May those without hope take heart in you, O Christ. May those with no home find shade at your right hand. May those near the end see beginnings; may those at the last become first. At the foot of your cross, O Christ, I come in prayer. O Christ, be my help, O Christ, be my hope. Amen. (Pamela Hawkins, Weavings Volume XXVI, Number 2)

Scripture Reading for the Day: Mark 1:14-20

Reading for Reflection: So how are we to live now? Can we bear the light of Christ into the darkness of our time? Jesus gave several directions that serve as signposts to guide us on that narrowing path of obedience. Though Jesus’ “Follow me” opens up a set of decisions for each one of us, all of us are called to trust, to relinquish whatever we cling to that is not of God, to seek ongoing guidance, and to be “sober and watchful” (1 Peter 5:8) as we attempt to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly” (Micah 6:8). Openness to surprise is one mark of a spiritual life vibrantly lived - and there will be surprises: every path has forks and hairpin turns. Jesus didn’t map out a way - he said “I am the way” (John 14:6). Our road map lies in relationship. We set out on our journeys, though, with very clear instructions, simple, but impossible without the help of the Spirit. (Where the Path Narrows by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Weavings, Volume XXV, Number 3)

Reflection and Listening: silent and written

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Eric and Beth Yodis are facilitating church planting in eastern Ukraine. Because of the war in the Ukraine, Eric and Beth are currently in the U.S. Pray today for them as they consider returning to the Ukraine this Spring.

InterVarsity’s vision is to see students transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed. They live this out by inviting unreached students into life transforming encounters with Jesus Christ and training and developing them as disciples and leaders. Pray today for the staff and volunteers as they host small group Bible studies to introduce cultural Christians and the unchurched to Jesus.

Closing Prayer: O infinite God, the brightness of whose face is often shrouded from my mortal gaze, I thank Thee that Thou didst send Thy Son Jesus Christ to be a light in a dark world. O Christ, Thou Light of Light, I thank Thee that in Thy most holy life Thou didst pierce the eternal mystery as with a great shaft of heavenly light, so that in seeing Thee we see Him whom no man hath seen at any time. And if still I cannot find Thee, O God, then let me search my heart and know whether it is not rather I who am blind than Thou who art obscure, and I who am fleeing from Thee rather than Thou from me; and let me confess these my sins before Thee and seek Thy pardon in Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen. (A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie)