April 9, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for April 9, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Being Handed Over to Suffering”

People who live close together can be sources of great sorrow for one another. When Jesus chose his twelve apostles, Judas was one of them. Judas is called a traitor. A traitor, according to the literal meaning of the Greek word for “betraying,” is someone who hands the other over to suffering.

The truth is that we all have something of the traitor in us because each of us hands our fellow human beings over to suffering somehow, somewhere, mostly without intending or even knowing it. Many children, even grown-up children, can experience deep anger toward their parents for having protected them too much or too little. When we are willing to confess that we often hand those we love over to suffering, even against our best intentions, we will be more ready to forgive those who, mostly against their will, are the causes of our pain.

Carol Winfrey Gillette (one of my favorite hymn writers, as you all know), just posted some new lyrics that easily double as a prayer.

This Easter Celebration (Tune: “The Church’s One Foundation”)

This Easter celebration is not like ones we’ve known. We pray in isolation, we sing the hymns alone. We’re distant from our neighbors— from worship leaders, too. No flowers grace the chancel to set a festive mood. No gathered choirs are singing; no banners lead the way. O God of love and promise, where’s joy this Easter Day? With sanctuaries empty, may homes become the place we ponder resurrection and celebrate your grace. Our joy won’t come from worship that’s in a crowded room but from the news of women who saw the empty tomb. Our joy comes from disciples who ran with haste to see— who heard that Christ is risen, and then, by grace, believed.
In all the grief and suffering, may we remember well: Christ suffered crucifixion and faced the powers of hell. Each Easter bears the promise: Christ rose that glorious day! Now nothing in creation can keep your love away. We thank you that on Easter, your church is blessed to be a scattered, faithful body that’s doing ministry. In homes and in the places of help and healing, too, we live the Easter message by gladly serving you.

Tune: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1864 Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. Email: carolynshymns@gmail.com New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com Carolyn gives permission for free use of this hymn by churches.

Here are more laughs from cartoonist and pastor Cuyler Black.

Today’s links! 

Smithsonian magazine takes a deep dive into everyday household objects we take for granted.

This English family got creative in quarantine and put together their own version of a song from Les Misérables.

Meet Kiara the Volley Dog. According to a story in the April 5 edition of The Washington Post, “Kiara’s playing partner…is Mathias Berntsen, a competitor on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Berntsen, 24, represents Norway and has been playing mostly with compatriot Hendrik Mol, but if the latter is ever unavailable, it’s apparent that a more-thancapable replacement is waiting in the wings.”

Atlas Obscura is a wonderful place to armchair travel to all sorts of fascinating places around the world. This link to the Peak Alum Works in Ravenscar, England takes you to very…interesting…story.

Stay safe and stay well!