Day 52 – Live without regrets
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.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus – Philippians 3:13-14.
In one of my favourite songs the French singer Mireille Mathieu sings, “No regrets!”. She sings about a life without regret or resentment. About life one day at a time in God’s holy hand. Too many of us live with unnecessary feelings of guilt. We are constantly looking for mistakes, shortcomings and defeats in our lives. We are always falling short in our own eyes.
If we want to start every new day with the Lord, we have to let go of the day’s mistakes every evening before we close our eyes. We should not be rummaging through yesterday’s dark drawers the whole time. We should accept responsibility for our choices, our mistakes and our defeats that happened yesterday and the day before. But we should not let them haunt us. With Paul in Philippians 3, we should forget what is behind us and strain toward what is ahead.
We should live with our foot on today’s accelerator. Therefore, there should be no regrets or resentments in our hearts that can slow us down. We should make peace with the circumstances we cannot change. We should learn to live with those people we would prefer to be different, but who will probably never change. We should strain ourselves and stretch out our hands, yes, today, to the heavenly prize to which God has called us in Jesus Christ.
Lord, help me to let go of my regrets and to strain towards that which lies before me so that I can live passionately today according to your will. 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
When you run a race, there is a beginning and an end. The goal is to reach the end – the finish line. And you will only be able to reach the end if you look in front of you and move forward. To look back the whole time will make you run slower.
Jesus reminds us that we receive a chance every day to move forward in order to share more of his love with others. We do not have to worry about everything we have done wrong in the past, because that will only stop us from moving forward. We can say that we are sorry and know and believe that Jesus has already forgiven us.
Today you are going to run a race. Mark out a distance with a beginning and an end. Now run the race in three different ways:
1. Try to reach the finish line, but look back at the starting line the whole time.
2. Run to the finish line again, but look back at the starting line every now and then.
3. Run for the last time, but keep your eyes on the finishing line only.
– Which running tactic got you to the finishing line the fastest?
– Why is it not necessary to worry constantly about the things we have done wrong in the past?
– How can we put the things of the past behind us and only look forward?
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