April 13, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for April 13, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “The Shepherd and the Sheep”

Spiritual leadership is the leadership of the Good Shepherd. As Jesus says, good shepherds know their sheep, and their sheep know them (see John 10:14). There must be a true mutuality between shepherds and sheep. Good leaders know their own, and their own know them. Between them is mutual trust, mutual openness, mutual care, and mutual love. To follow our leaders, we cannot be afraid of them, and to lead our followers we need their encouragement and support.

Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd to show the great intimacy that must exist between leaders and those entrusted to them. Without such intimacy, leadership easily becomes oppressive.

Today’s prayer comes from Marquette University.

Prayer for a Time of Anxiety

It seems that I return to you most easily when I need comfort, O God. Hello… here I am again, knowing that you are waiting for me with love and warming light. In the shadow of your wings I find respite and relief that feeds my innermost self and renews my soul. Day and night, you are my refuge. These uncertain days of news conferences and quarantines tempt me to assume the worst for my loved ones, myself and my community. “Pandemic” is a frightening word, and I can easily feel confused or helpless to respond. Now I am relying on you to lead and guide me, to put my anxiety in its place.

Help me see it as a human response that keeps me conscious of the seriousness of this moment, but do not let it overwhelm my spirit.

Buoyed by your love, I choose each day to let peace reign in me. Breathing deeply of your calm, I repeat, again and again, “You are here.” Good and gracious Companion, my family and friends need tranquility and assurance. Help me to offer them your tenderness. Those in my community who are suffering need care. Help me to be generous and to keep contact with the forgotten. Our world calls for cooperation among national leaders, scientists, health care providers, and all who are instrumental in overcoming this crisis. May my prayers and support be with them all. I have come back to you, and I will return, knowing that your open arms will never fail. God of hope, may your love blanket the earth, as you teach us to live more generously today than yesterday. May my anxiety be transformed into love. Amen.

Hey, it’s Monday, so let’s go back to The Far Side and a little lesson about the perils of biting off more than we can chew.” 

Today’s links! 

Today’s links!

 This link will take you to a list of what Uber Eats says are the most popular takeout orders in each state.

 Illinois South has put together a recorded Easter service and bulletin. You can find both of them here, on the Conference website.

 Glory in the wonder of God’s creation by following this link to some highresolution photos of Jupiter.

 Watch here as Adam Sandler debuts his quarantine song on The Jimmy Kimmel Show.

 Finally, here’s an article (with several embedded links to other sites and videos) that delves into the truly fascinating history of something much in demand right now…toilet paper.

Stay safe and stay well!