Day 39 – Second chances
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.
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down’” – Luke 13:6-9.
The Lord makes a new beginning every day. He does not hold the failures of yesterday and the day before against us. He wipes it away, forgets about it, removes it permanently from the heavenly registers. This is our God, forgetful when it comes to his children’s mistakes. We just have to put it by his feet and leave it there.
And then we need to accept our second chances from God’s hands. We can change, not by our own strength, but because God Himself will change us. And God does it one day at a time. Today is therefore a very important day in God’s programme for renewal.
The parable of the fig tree reminds us that we cannot bear fruit by ourselves. But the fig tree – that is us – can make sure we are in the right place: the orchard! There in the orchard is a heavenly gardener, Jesus Christ. He specialises in unfruitful fig trees. He brings heavenly compost and water to every unfruitful little tree in his orchard that received a season of grace from the heavenly Owner.
Be there in the orchard today. Then every meeting, every time of waiting, every “coincidence”, every person who crosses your path, becomes a heavenly opportunity. Do not miss out on the heavenly orchard today. Do not miss today’s second chances because you were in the wrong place. Today is the day to start dancing to the rhythm of heavenly music.
Thank you, Father, that You are the God of second chances. I know that I will not be able to change by my own strength, but only by yours. Help me to stay in the orchard under the care of the heavenly gardener, Jesus Christ. 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
Sometimes you wish that you could do something over, or better, or get a second chance. Unfortunately it does not happen often in life that you can do something over. Luckily God does not work like this. God does not hold the things we have done in the past against us. God gives us as many chances as we need to do something right. We only need to keep on trying.
– Tell a story about a time you wished you could have had a second chance.
– Why do you think God gives us a chance to try again and again until we get something right?
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