May 16 Devotional
Opening Prayer: May we be forever mindful today, O God, that you are in your dwelling place. Give us full knowledge and awareness of your saving presence, a presence that surrounds us at all times and reveals itself in love, compassion, and truth. Make yourself known to us today so we may dwell in you and you in us. Amen. (A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God by Rueben P. Job, Norman Shawchuck, and John Mogabgab)
Scripture: Exodus 3:1-12
Journal: What do you think God is trying to say to you today through this story? How might you be more attentive today for burning bushes in the midst of your daily routine?
Reflection: Isn’t it interesting that God waited until Moses had gone over to look at the bush before he called out to him from the midst of it? I mean, what if Moses would not have turned aside and come over to see this strange sight? What then? Would God never have spoken to him? Would he have missed his chance at this incredible encounter with God? It kind of highlights the importance of paying attention and tuning aside doesn’t it?
And I love that God calls to Moses from inside the bush. God calls to him from within a created thing. How fun is that? It makes me wonder, “Where else might He be? What things this day, or this moment, is He hiding inside of, just waiting to call out to me the minute I turn aside and go over to find Him?” Could it be that everything in creation holds the possibility of such an encounter? Could it be that if I pay careful attention I might find Him within most of the places and conversations and tasks and circumstances that I find myself in today? And could it be that I might find Him hiding even in the midst of the hard things of this life? Perhaps God even calls to me - to us - from within our sorrow and pain, all we need to do is look for Him. For as soon as we do, we are likely to hear our names upon his lips and have to take off our shoes because we are standing on holy ground.
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
J & M have begun their fourth year of serving in Creative Access using the platform of micro finance lending to engage in church planting with holistic development. They have sought to be deeply immersed in the language and culture and continue their work with a micro finance company. Pray today for good health for M and their new son to be born this summer. They are hoping to live temporarily in the U.S. during these months.
YOKE mentors middle school children by building friendships with Christian adults through clubs, camps, and Kid Time (hanging out with kids in their world). Currently YOKE reaches out to nearly 20,000 students at 26 middle schools located in Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, and Knox counties. Pray today for all of the Yoke students who will soon begin their summer breaks.
Closing Prayer: My God, in these quiet moments I caught a glimpse of your vision for me. Inspire me, my God, to carry into the everydayness of my life all to which I aspire at such a moment as this. May my faith have feet and hands, a voice and a heart, that it may minister to others - that the gospel I profess may be seen in my life. Amen. - Norman Shawchuck