Day 50 – Refuse to be a victim
Prayer for the week
Start you day with this prayer
Holy God, Three-in-One, in the next week we will celebrate the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ – that strange event that seemed like a final farewell. We are reminded that with the resurrection of Jesus Christ the beginning of a new reality was announced: You are truly the Prince of Peace that will reign for all eternity on earth and in heaven.
Show us, Lord, that we can still believe in these times and proclaim that You truly reign over everything and everyone. Turn our fears into trust, Lord, so that we can still be builders in your kingdom on earth, even in the midst of all this uncertainty.
Remind us that we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, are still part of the story that You are writing with your creation.
Console us with the knowledge that You did not leave us behind as orphans, but that your Advocate is with us for all eternity – and that You will indeed come back for us (John 14:16-18).
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” – Deuteronomy 31:8.
You are not a victim. You are someone who can make a huge difference every day. This difference becomes possible when you choose not to be a prisoner of your emotions, circumstances, history, family, church, work, neighbourhood, country or whatever. Yes, you have a history, if you want to know it or not, and your history does cast a shadow, or a light, on today, every day. Unfortunately you cannot pretend that yesterday or the day before will not have an effect on the way that you live, because it does. But you can choose if it will be a shadow or a light in your life.
When unwelcome events like crime, abuse or other traumatic events leave scars on our lives, we easily turn into victims of life. And we stay in the intensive care unit if we do not deliberately choose to do something about it. Ask me, I know, for I was the victim of a hijacking.
Initially I thought I was coping well with this traumatic experience, until my wife and good friends convinced me that I was not handling the situation effectively. Only when I went to a therapist, the grip that this incident had on my whole being started to slip off my shoulders. I had to choose to no longer stay a prisoner of emotions like fear, anger or even hate. I had to choose to start living again. I had to decide that a new day has dawned for me. And it did! Thank God!
What is holding you prisoner so that you cannot enjoy the beauty of today? Which fears and uncertainties paralyse you? Look it in the eyes. If you have to, speak to someone who can help you to be free from these emotions. You’re not a superhuman. You are not unbreakable or untouchable. Life happens, also to you.
My God and safe Fortress, I lay down my fears by your feet. Give me your peace so that I will not miss out on the beauty of life because my past is haunting me or because of my worries about the future. Bless me today with your presence. Amen.
Liturgy for life
A time to be thankful …
In a time where many people use social media to express their frustrations over what they can and cannot buy, it may be a good time to think about everything we can be thankful for. Everything that we have, yes everything, comes from God’s hand. It is God who blesses us with life and also with what we need to make life possible. God blesses us with all the elements that make life worthwhile, like relationships and the gift of nature. Use your five senses this week to be aware of all these gifts in your life and choose to be truly thankful for what God is blessing you with.
– Listen to the birds in the garden, to music, to the sound of tractors working on the farm. What do you hear that fills you with gratitude?
– Smell the fresh early morning air, the food that you prepare in your home. Be thankful that you still have food to eat.
– Taste the food that you have to eat. Realise that God is giving you the opportunity to work so that you can eat, so you can help build God’s kingdom.
– Touch the ground in the garden outside, in the fields or in the orchard. Touch your pet, your kids, your parents, your partner. How does this blessing feel? How does your dog, cat or horse react when you scratch their ears with love and gratitude?
– See everything around you. Everything that you own, your kids, the beauty of the region where you live and work. See how God is still blessing you in these most difficult circumstances and cares for you and the world. Thank God!
– Write down everything that you experience this week. Write a letter of gratitude or a psalm of praise and put it in your Bible or even share it on social media to remind yourself and others that we have so much to be truly grateful for.
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 it may happen that things fill our thoughts completely. Maybe you watched a story that scared you and now you think about it whenever you wake up in the night. God reminds us in today’s Bible verse that He is always with us and will never let us down. When we are scared, we do not have to be worried that we are alone because God is always with us.
– Tell someone about a time when you had a really big fright or when you were very scared.
– What helped you not to be afraid anymore?
– If you have a “glow in the dark” toy or sticker, put it next to your bed where you can see it at night. Just like that toy or sticker is there, glowing the whole time, God is with you every moment of the day and night.
– Learn Deuteronomy 31:8 by heart. When you are scared, you can recite it and remind yourself that God is with you always.
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