Daily Devotions - Tuesday, 11 August

DAILY DEVOTIONS

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 

(The video version is available by clicking HERE )

Call to Prayer

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  (1 John 5 : 14)

Prayer 

God of wonder,

open our hearts

to learn from you.

Open our hearts to learn

how to serve you better in your world.

Open our hearts to love you, as you love us.

In Jesus’ name we come in prayer.

Amen

Bible Reading : The Story of Noah

Introduction

The story of Noah is one of the great stories in the Old Testament. Many of us will have grown up with it in Sunday School or perhaps at home. I love the story, it’s gripping, it’s blockbuster stuff from God himself. A shame the actual blockbuster wasn’t quite as good!

I can imagine that living on the ark wasn’t the easiest place to be. Despite the fact that they were no doubt thanking God to be alive, to have been chosen from the whole of humanity, I don’t believe it was an easy ride.

We don’t know from reading Genesis what happened in the ark. However, there is a rabbinic tradition which speaks of the months in the ark.

It tells us that it was those months in the ark which were the most important for Noah. It was there that Noah worked hard feeding and caring for each and every living thing in his care.

It was in that unforgiving environment of the ark, as the waves beat against the boat, that Noah himself learnt and in turn reveals to us what it means to be righteous. The ark was not primarily an escape vessel, rather it was a school for the learning of compassion. It was there that Noah refined the sympathies and dedication that are crucial for the development of a caring, hospitable relationship with the world. It was there where Noah learnt the true meaning of compassion, service and love. 

By giving up his own self-interest, Noah learned how to transform himself and his work into a gift for the good of others. This gift was not cheap, particularly if we believe the rabbis who claimed that during the months in the ark Noah was so busy attending to the needs of the animals that he didn’t even stop to sleep. The triumph of Noah’s life was that he recognised the needs of others on the ark and then attended to them.

The story of Noah reminds us that the world exists only through the action of hospitality. After all, let’s not forget God created the world not for himself but for others, for each and every one of us. However, as the story of Noah reminds us, we also have a role to play in the hospitality of the world.

Genesis 7 : 1 - 12

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 

Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 

Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. 

And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 

Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 

And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 

And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

Prayer

Lord of opportunities,

we pray today for the teachers

getting ready to get back to school,

for the worry of what is to come

and the hope for some normality

in the days to come.

 

We pray for students worried

what school might look like.

We pray especially for those entering P1 &S1

and all pupils going to new schools.

Help them to navigate through the

strangeness and worry of school.

 

Lord of opportunities,

we pray for our leaders

as they begin the task of rebuilding our nation.

We pray for open hearts, eyes and ears

and that they might listen to the needs

of the whole country, not just a few.

 

Lord of opportunities,

in the silence we pray that you might speak to us

and open our eyes to the opportunities in our own lives.

Silence

We bring all of our prayers,

said out loud and in the silence and secrecy of our hearts

in the name of our Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen