Guided Reflection for 15th December 2020.
Find a quiet place (or put on headphones!) and a comfortable position to sit. If you are pushed for time, set your alarm for 2 minutes before your deadline so that you won’t have to keep checking. Take a moment to relax, pay attention to your breathing, and put aside your preoccupations – if that’s hard, picture yourself asking God to hold them for you for the next few minutes. Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit in bringing God’s word alive for you today. Read the passage below through slowly and prayerfully.
If a word or a phrase particularly strikes you, pause there and savour it.
Speak to God about it. Does it help you, or puzzle you?
Remind you of something you have long known or bring a new thought?
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for one to bear
the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence
when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one’s mouth to the dust
(there may yet be hope),
to give one’s cheek to the smiter,
and be filled with insults.
For the Lord will not
reject for ever.
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve anyone.
When you have finished reading the passage, what stays in your mind?
Is there a thought that you can carry with you through the day?
Or something that you might like to spend more time thinking through with God?
Some questions for further reflection:
Has our present crisis changed the way you read this passage? If so how?
The writer has found a way both to be honest about the reality of grief and suffering and to keep confidence in the unfailing nature of God’s love.
How do you hold that balance? What helps? What makes it more difficult?