A Devotion for Saturday, May 9, 2020
Jeremiah 26:20-24 (NRSV)
20 There was another man prophesying in the name of the Lord, Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words exactly like those of Jeremiah. 21 And when King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt. 22 Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Achbor and men with him to Egypt, 23 and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, who struck him down with the sword and threw his dead body into the burial place of the common people. 24 But the hand of Ahikam son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over into the hands of the people to be put to death.
Thoughts from “The Word in Season”
“ But the hand of Ahikam son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah
so that he was not given over into the hands of the people to be put to death.”
There are many dangerous careers. Firefighter, police officers and soldiers, for example, all face the possibility of physical danger (as do “frontline workers” in these Covid-19 days). They all risk their lives to save the lives of others.
Another dangerous job is being a prophet. When those in power disliked what prophets said, prophets were hunted down and killed. Some, like Jeremiah, survived the threat. They fled to neighboring countries with the scars of their close encounter with death. Others, like Uriah, died at the hands of the authorities. It is dangerous to speak truth to power.
And yet God promises to be always present, even in death itself. God promises to be always present, even in death itself. God promises to stay with the prophets, to speak with them and through them as they confront those in power. And God promises eternal life to all, calling each of us to persevere even in the face of danger.
Prayer: Prophetic God, speak your truth through me and give me the strength to endure persecution. Amen.
Prayer Concern: Social Workers – and Social Advocates and “Front line workers.”
Hymn for Reflection:
“Let Justice Flow Like Streams” (ELW #717, WOV #763)
Let justice flow like streams of sparkling water, pure,
Enabling growth, refreshing life, abundant, cleansing, sure.
Let righteousness roll on as other’s cares we heed,
An everflowing stream of faith translated into deed.
So may God’s plumb line, straight, define our measure true,
And justice, right, and peace pervade this world our whole life through.
If you would like to borrow an ELW or a WOV hymnal (or both) during this time of sheltering in place, you may pick one up in the narthex on the table to the right as you come in. They have been sanitized for you protection.
Please put your name on the check-out list so we can remind you to bring it/them back when we are able to resume worship in the sanctuary. Also, please sanitize them before you bring them back.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
– Isaiah 52:7 (NRSV)
Blessings & Peace,
Want to do something positive in this uncertain, anxious time?
Write an encouraging card, note or letter
for one of our shut-ins (Ken Bechtler, Myrtle Danielson, Helen Randall and Barb Morphew) which can be brought to church for delivery (place in the basket in the breezeway).
Or, make some cheerful, simple artwork –
for others and for yourself – that can be put in a window to cheer you up, and those who may see it in your neighborhood.
Do you Quilt?
How about making Masks out of quilting fabric? It’s supposed to be one of the best fabrics to use, and there are patterns online to make them.
Write a Devotion
to post here and share with others, something encouraging or inspirational.
Perhaps it could be a remembrance or experience of God’s faithfulness or love at work in your life.
For those affected in any way by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially Felicity Luthanen who has tested positive.
For our congregation in this time of separation, that we would yet be held together.
What about a Sign Campaign?
Would we want to make simple roadside signs – from the people of Messiah – indicating prayers and support for medical, food, pharmacy, and other essential service workers (especially “on the front lines”)? What do you think? Could be a visible way of “sharing the love of Christ” in this time.
Have another idea? Let me know, and I will share it here!