Daily Devotions - Saturday, 8 August 2020

DAILY DEVOTIONS

Saturday, 8 August 2020

(The video version is available by clicking HERE )

Call to Prayer

Jesus said, Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28 : 19 & 20a)

Welcome to Daily Devotions from Cramond Kirk on Saturday, 8 August 2020.

Prayer

O God of life,

eternity cannot hold you

nor can our little words catch

the magnificence of your kindness.

Ye in the space of our small hearts

and through silence, you come close,

speaking, listening and repairing.

Enable us to meet you afresh this day.  

Amen

Introduction   

The worldwide church is the theme of our devotions this week.

I have been asked to speak about Sri Lanka and today we turn to the political situation.

The reading today has Jesus encouraging his disciples to become leaders.

Matthew 10 : 5 – 10

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’

Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 

Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food. 

Comment

Buddhism is the dominant religion in Sri Lanka accounting for 80% of the population. Christians account for 6% while Hindus and Muslims make up the remaining 14%. It was very unusual to see that almost everyone celebrated Christmas, with presents and parties, food and carol concerts. It was even more surprising to find myself giving a Christmas address at an annual National Bank Christmas service where the vast majority of those attending were Buddhists.  

It made me very proud to be an active Christian. While small in number, Christians are active in every sector of society in Sri Lanka and are generally well respected. Christians were instrumental in initiating and embedding the national education system in Sri Lanka and even today many of the schools still have Saints names.

Life for Christians in Sri Lanka today is not always easy.  A small but aggressive group of political Buddhists (not typical but influential) are very political and have the President’s ear. They are openly opposed to other religions.

It reminded me that as a majority religion in Britain, how we treat all minorities and other religions is very important. I am pleased to be involved with the Christian community in Colombo. While it is a very different dynamic from what we are used to, the Christian faith in Sri Lanka endeavours to be welcoming to all - regardless of income, colour or religion. Jesus teaches us that no matter what restrictions might be placed upon us, he will be with us and we can strive to live in his ways.    

Prayers (from the church in Hungary)

Loving God,

open our hearts and minds

to our sisters and brothers

in every corner of the world.

 

Gather us or scatter us, O Lord,

according to your will.

Build us into one Church:

a church with open doors and large windows,

a church that takes the world seriously,

ready to work and even to suffer.

 

Accept these prayers for our sisters and brothers in every denomination and country as we join our hearts and minds together praying

 

Our Father

Which art in heaven

Hallowed be Thy name

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom

The power and the glory

For ever

Amen

 

May the peace of God which passes human understanding

keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of Christ

and may the blessing of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

be with you today and always.

Amen