Day 38 – Are you too used to your heavenly welcoming?
Prayer for the week
Start you day with this prayer
Lord, we have been aware for weeks that our freedom of movement has been restricted, and that we can only leave our homes for essential things and under the strictest regulations. Help us to remember that a restriction on physical movement does not mean a restriction of our discipleship. Show us how and where we can still wander in the Gospel – the Good News for all people.
We pray for each essential worker during this time, and for each person who has the opportunity to work. We pray for each individual and each family who has been affected by income loss and have lost their jobs. We pray for everyone who feels uncertain and is scared about what the future has in store.
We pray for president Cyril Ramaphosa, for all ministers and government leaders who need to show the way in this time. May You give them strength to work under tremendous pressure and still make informed and good decisions. Bless their families and loved ones who are supporting them.
Thank You for remembering us. Thank You for continuing to support and encourage us. Thank You for creating hope in a time of chaos and uncertainty.
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
Sometimes we become so familiar to one another, almost like those professional sports stars who study their opponents to the finest detail so that all their movements are well known and predictable. There will be no more surprises there. The same may be true for married couples, friends, believers and colleagues. We constantly put labels on one another and stereotype one another.
God is not like us. What a relief! God makes a new and fresh start with us every day. God refuses to label us with terms such as “sinner”, “dead believer” or “spiritual backslider”. And no, God never becomes used to our weak points and our mistakes. It hurts God too much. Therefore God forgets about our mistakes the moment He forgives us. (Or do you not believe the words of Psalm 103?) That is why God changes us according to his image, day by day (2 Cor 3:18).
God’s rhythm is to start over. His compassion is new every morning, and it awaits us at our doors with love from the Holy Spirit. Psalm 3 and 4 say we fall asleep in the arms of the Lord. And every morning the Lord is waiting for us with open arms to welcome us in his presence.
What do you experience when you open your eyes in the morning? When we rush from the one day to the other, when we are late every morning because the cat tripped us or we dropped our toothbrush, we are probably running too fast to experience our heavenly welcoming. Big mistake!
Lord, thank you that You give me a new beginning every day. Make me aware of your loving care, from the moment I open my eyes in the morning until I fall asleep in your arms again. Amen.
Liturgy for life
See the ordinary things you do in and around the house as signs of God’s care.
This week: Clean your cupboards!
Why? Firstly it is a sign of gratitude for the abundance that you have received. Secondly, to share from your abundance with other people during this time. And lastly, to realize that you can simplify your life. As Elizabeth Ann Seton said: “Live simply so that others may simply live.”
How? Start with your wardrobe. Look at all the items you have and choose 10 usable items that you still use, but don’t use as often or don’t really need. Donate it to charity. When you are finished going through your wardrobe, look at your other cupboards. Are there any everyday items that you can give away, things that may not be affordable to others in this time? In our community we’re going to sell all these items for R20. Something has more worth when you contribute towards it. We want to make it as affordable as possible.
What do we want to achieve? We want to help people to receive good, useful items at an affordable donation, while we journey to a deeper self-realisation of how blessed we are. We want to include the broader community by working with other churches, businesses, and the local government.
Have a look at this video, and organize your cupboards this week:
Play with your children.
Wow! 21 Days of isolation. 21 Days in which we’re only allowed to be in our homes (or gardens) and can only go out for the most essential things like food and medicine. It can be a little rough! All the things we usually do during the day, like school, sport, church … are not happening anymore. It can really confuse you and maybe even bore you a little. These daily readings will help you to spend some time with Jesus every day in a creative and fun way. You can do these readings and activities by yourself, with your siblings, or with your entire family. Ask one of the grownups to post your activity on Facebook so that others can enjoy it with you. Tag it with #solitudecalendar #churchtogether
Have you ever wondered if the sun will rise again the next morning after it has dissappeared in the evening? No, we do not worry about the sun, for we know it will shine again the next day. We also do not have to worry about God’s loving care. God will care for us every day of our lives.
– What in your life shows you that God is caring for you?
– How can you care for others?
When you go to bed tonight, think about these three questions:
1. What made you feel grateful today?
2. What made you feel worried today?
3. What is the one thing you will do tomorrow that will make you happy?
Look at this week’s illustration.
Talk to the people in your home or with your friends on WhatsApp about the illustration.
– What stands out to you?
– Take note of the things you see, but also of the things that aren’t present in the illustration.
– What would you like to add?
– How does this illustration connect with today’s Scripture, and how not?
Create your own interpretation of the illustration through any medium: dance, photography, videography, music, poetry, drawing, painting or short stories.
Record it and share it with us on social media with the hashtag #countdowndoodles