A Devotion for Saturday, April 18, 2020
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (NRSV)
6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.
Thoughts from “The Word in Season”
Stronger than Struggle
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.”
I had just begun a new job and settled in a new place after college, and I remember getting on my knees and asking God’s help in finding a mate. My prayer was answered because the next morning I heard these words: “Why don’t you write to Doug Muschett? He’s a great guy.” Long story short: We just celebrated fifty years of marriage!
Although today’s verses refer to romantic love, love comes in lots of ways: through spouses, significant others, parents, children and friends. And all relationships require work, for we all experience floods – times of struggle, pain, or situations that seem beyond resolution. Yet the love God gives us for each other is stronger than any force opposing it. With God, the power of love will neither be quenched or drowned.
Prayer: Guiding God, lead me in each of my relationships. Amen.
Scripture Reading for Personal Reflection:
Acts 2:14a, 22-24, 32 (NRSV)
Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them …
listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power … 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.
For your personal reflection: Read the passage aloud once, let it settle in your mind. Then read it silently, to yourself. Again let it settle in your mind, and in your heart. Then read it aloud one more time, and reflect on what it might mean for you, and for living your faith – especially in these days.
If you like, do a journal to write down your thoughts. If you can share this with a spouse or other home companion (child, parent), you can take turns reading the passage aloud – one reading the first time, the other the second time – then after the second reading aloud, you could share your thoughts with each other.
Hymn for Reflection:
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” (ELW #631)
Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heav’n to earth come down!
Fix in us thy humble dwelling, all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation, enter ev’ry trembling heart.
Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast;
Let us all in thee inherit; let us find thy promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all thy life receive;
Suddenly return, and never, never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise they without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.
Finish then thy new creation, pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee!
Changed from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.”
– John 3:16a (NRSV)
Blessings & Peace,
Want to do something positive in this uncertain, anxious time?
Write an encouraging card, note or letter for our elderly friends at Senior Star (there’s a bin in the breezeway where you can place them) – or for one of our shut-ins (Ken Bechtler, Myrtle Danielson, Helen Randall and Barb Morphew) which can be brought to church for delivery.
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.
Sign up to ring the church bells to send the message to our community that God is with us in the midst of this time, and that we at Messiah are praying for those who are affected, and for an end to the pandemic.
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.
For those affected in any way by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For our congregation in this time of separation, that we would yet be held together.
Have another idea? Let me know, and I will share it here!