Day 59 – Joy is a serious business
Prayer for the week
Start you day with this prayer
Spirit of God, during Pentecost we celebrate the glorious blessing of your presence in the world: an event we call the birth of the church. By this life-altering blessing You made it possible for everyone who believes to acknowledge and proclaim that Jesus is Lord.
We confess that we often do not see or acknowledge the work of your Holy Spirit in our lives, and that we sometimes even resist it on purpose. We want to follow our own heads, rather than trusting your guidance. We make our own plans, rather than following your plans. We prefer the familiarity of our comfort, rather than diving into the adventure of your encouragement.
Show us, graceful God, where we can listen better, see more clearly and be much more aware – so that we may live in the rhythm of the breathing of your Spirit. Blow us to where You want us, Lord, so that we will be faithful to our calling as witnesses: to proclaim the Good News everywhere we go, so that in the end every tongue will acknowledge that You are the King of Creation.
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls – 1 Peter 1:8-9.
Do you choose to live each day with joy? CS Lewis said: “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”
Yes, lives need to be touched. The poor must be fed. The lonely must be comforted. Tears should be wiped away. The Good News must be spread. Things and people need to change. But Jesus is here with us today. That’s why today is the only day we have! He is the guest of honour today. Let go of all these things and enjoy today with Him. He is Life, not your dreams of success, a better job, more possessions, fancier holidays or bigger influence. Make today your special day to walk with Jesus. And enjoy it. Don’t think too much about what you’re going to say or ask during these meetings with Him. No, just walk without too much determination with the Lord, unplanned and joyful.
It’s good to have big dreams and to make good plans about how you want to change the world for God. But the most important of all is to spend today in the presence of God and to enjoy it.
To be there where He is, is enough. It is life itself. Leave all the plans aside for a moment. Just show up. Enjoy Jesus’ special celebration with you in your little corner of the world. Rejoice in his presence. Sing a song of joy for Him. Dance. Have joy in abundance. Let it flow from your lips even if no one knows what you’re talking about. Fill your home, your workplace with a piece of personal joy because Jesus came to see you personally. Today.
Lord, help me to live today without worries and with so much joy, to live in your presence so that I can dance to your rhythm and let your joy overflow to all of my loved ones. Amen.
Liturgy for life
A new habit to end your day
Here is a suggestion for a new habit to make part of your life and to end each day in this way:
– Think back on the blessings of God you experienced through the day. How did the Lord bless you with heavenly manna? What daily bread was on your menu? Were you blessed with even more than bread? How did the Lord provide in your needs and the needs of your loved ones? When were you aware of the hand of the Lord in your life? How did God renew you? What impact did your words and deeds have on others? How were their lives changed because God placed you near them today?
– Thank the Lord for today and for his manna. Praise Him for today, for every abundance and for every need. Be rich at God’s feet tonight, even though you are very poor. Be poor at God’s feet tonight, even though you are rich. Be humble but abundant with your gratefulness. Sing a song of praise about what happened to you,, with you, around you and with others today that reflected God’s honour.
– Say you are sorry about every opportunity that slipped through your fingers, every word you did not say that could have glorified God, every chance you missed to serve and love others. Say you are sorry for every time you were selfish and claimed the glory for yourself. Accept God’s forgiveness and put all these things behind you. Do not go to sleep with guilty feelings or negative emotions in your mind.
– Ask the Lord for his heavenly manna for the night ahead. Pray the love and care of the Lord over yourself, your loved ones and the people around you and those far away from you.
May you sleep peacefully tonight!
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 heard the word eyewitness? Let’s look at this word closer: eye – you look and see with your eyes; witness – someone who saw something happening with their own eyes.
Peter was an eyewitness of Jesus’ life on earth. He saw Jesus and he knew Jesus, therefore he could write down many things about Jesus in the Bible. Not one of us has ever seen Jesus; maybe pictures in Children’s Bibles, yes, but not like Peter saw Jesus. Fortunately it is not necessary for us to see Jesus with our own eyes, for we have two things to help us to get to know Him better: (1) eyewitness who wrote down many truths about Jesus in the Bible, and (2) the Holy Spirit who leads us every day and lives in our hearts. In this way Jesus and his love is part of our lives every day.
– You too can be an eyewitness of Jesus’ love. Where and how do you see Jesus’ love every day?
Make yourself a very special badge from a piece of cardboard and a safety pin. Write down these words on the piece of cardboard: “Jesus’ eyewitness”. Decorate your badge and wear it with pride.
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