November 14 Devotional
Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.
Opening Prayer: Gracious and loving God, you know the deep inner patterns of my life that keep me from being totally yours. You know the misformed structures of my being that hold me in bondage to something less than your high purpose for my life. You also know my reluctance to let you have your way with me in these areas. Hear the deeper cry of my heart for wholeness and by your grace enable me to be open to your transforming presence. Lord, have mercy. (Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland Jr.)
Scripture Reading for the Day: Philippians 4:4-7
Reading for reflection: The biblical word that most fully expresses this theological understanding of community is shalom, sometimes translated from the Hebrew as “peace.” Shalom is an all-encompassing word covering all the many relationships of life and expressing a vision of what the Israelites conceived of as the ideal of what life was intended by God to be. In describing shalom, commentators use such words as “wholeness,” “totality,” “well-being,” “the absence of violence or misfortune,” “the untrammeled, free growth of the soul in conjunction with others,” or “harmonious community.” Or as a report of the World Council of Churches puts it: “Shalom is a social happening, an event in interpersonal relations.” The report continues, “The goal towards which God is working, i.e., the ultimate end of his mission, is the establishment of the shalom, and this involves the realization of the full potentialities of all creation, and the ultimate reconciliation and unity in Christ. (Mutual Ministry by James C. Fenhagen)
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Cedar Springs adopted Lonsdale Elementary in 2003. Lonsdale, with more than 400 students PreK through 5th grade, only serves the Lonsdale area. Over the years, the racial make-up of the school, whose students are 100% free lunch qualified, has changed to primarily Hispanic and African-American children. Pray today for the children that CSPC is reaching through their “D.E.A.R. Dinner” (Drop Everything And Read) program at Lonsdale Elementary on Tuesday afternoons. Consider volunteering to help. Contact Alison at 865-291-5261 to find out how.
Closing Prayer: O God, who hast been the Refuge of my fathers through many generations, be my Refuge today in every time and circumstance of need. Be my Guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my Guard against all that threatens my spirit’s welfare. Be my Strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with Thy peace; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen. (A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie)