Day 53 – Be accountable
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.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective – James 5:16.
Ask someone close to you to be your fellow traveller through life, a coach to whom you can be accountable for what you think, say and do today. Do not travel through life alone. That would be dangerous.
I have to admit, I do not like the term mentorship so much since it became a new trend, also in the church. Everyone is a mentor nowadays and everyone has a mentor because it is the “in” thing. In too many church circles mentorship has become a “legal” way of gossiping and sharing secrets between individuals who were not supposed to even know those secrets. Mentorship can easily become a power game or a veiled way of bragging when people start telling each other, “I am so-and-so’s mentor,” or, “Did you know this or that well-known person is my spiritual mentor?”
Rather choose one or two fellow travellers who will walk with you and close to you today. To be accountable towards each other and support each other is a responsibility and a privilege of being a Christian. Pray for one another, or do you not believe what James is saying? Trust at least one person today to walk next to you and to whom you can be accountable for your choices in life. It has to be someone who really wants to walk with you and not tower above you. This fellow traveller needs to have the courage to talk to you when you are straying from the right way. Someone with whom you can be transparent with your thoughts, words and deeds. In this way, you will be able to defend yourself against yourself.
Father, help me to be a good fellow traveller to everyone You send into my life. Help me to also be accountable and honest so that I may grow. 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
Have you ever had to admit that you made a mistake? It is not easy to do this, especially not in front of other people. Still it is very important to admit when we did something wrong, especially when we did something bad to someone else. We can ask people to pray with us and ask for God’s help so that we will not do it again.
– Why do you think it is important to pray with other people?
– Do you need someone to pray for you about something? Ask someone to help you and pray with you about this.
Make a prayer chain by using paper strips. Cut a thin strip of paper and fold it in a circle. Staple the ends together. Thread a second strip of paper through the first circle and staple those ends together as well. You will now have two links on your paper chain.
But, before you staple the strips together, write or draw your prayer on them. You can add another strip of paper (another prayer) to your chain every day to make your prayer chain longer.
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