Daily Devotion - Monday, 10 August

DAILY DEVOTIONS

Monday, 10 August 2020

(The video version is available by clicking HERE )

Call to Prayer

Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

(Romans 16 : 16)

Welcome to Daily Devotions from Cramond Kirk on Monday, 10 August 2020. 

Inspirational saints are the theme of our daily devotions this week.

Prayer

You fearful saints, fresh courage take;

the clouds you so much dread

are big with mercy, and shall break

in blessings on your head.                         

Amen

(William Cowper : Hymn 158)

Introduction                                                                                                                                                         

Ezra may not be the name which leaps into your mind when you think of inspirational saints, however he does makes a real and lasting contribution. He has a book of the Old Testament named after him. We do not know everything about him but we know enough to celebrate him. In the book of Ezra, he chronicles the return of some of the Jewish exiles from their period of shame and sorrow in Babylon. He witnesses and records the rebuilding of the great temple in Jerusalem. He tells us about the emotion when worship begins again in that special place. We do not know if he is buried in Aleppo, or Basra, but he loved the law of God, loved God’s house and was an important historian. I am using a selection of verses from Ezra Chapter 3 to help us celebrate his life:      

Ezra : 3 selected verses

When the seventh month came, and the Israelites were in the towns, the people gathered together in Jerusalem. 

Then Jeshua son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his kin set out to build the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as prescribed in the law of Moses the man of God. 

They set up the altar on its foundation, because they were in dread of the neighbouring peoples, and they offered burnt offerings upon it to the Lord, morning and evening... But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. 

So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from King Cyrus of Persia.

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the Lord with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel; and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 

But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away.

Thanks be to God. Amen

Prayers

Great and loving God,

as we join in these daily devotions

we thank You we never do so alone

but in company with all Your people in heaven and on earth.

 

Remind us we pray

that we belong to You and to one another.

 

Open our hearts and minds

to our sisters and brothers

from the past

who have shown commitment in difficult situations

to rebuild, restore and worship You.

 

We pray for the congregations of the Church of Scotland who are all attempting to wend a way through the chaos created by the pandemic.

We pray for all trying to give advice on the law and good procedures.

 

As we remember Ezra we give thanks for our connection with the Jewish faith,

praying for all in Israel/Palestine. We also pray for the people of Beirut.

 

Grant the people of God strength

to meet all the opportunities and challenges they face

with faith and love,

their lives bearing witness

to the hope You give.

 

God of every people,

hold in Your healing presence all who are ill,

draw close to anyone who is worried or anxious

and in all the duties and activities of the day

be our companion and our guide

through Jesus Christ our Lord

in whose name we pray

 

Our Father

Which art in heaven

Hallowed be Thy name

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done on 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 God give us grace to follow the saints

in faith, hope, and love

and the blessing of God almighty,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us today and always.

Amen