Grace and Peace

Wednesday in the first week of Advent, Year B 
02 December 2020

Grace and Peace

Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 3 – 9

Scripture: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…He will also strengthen you to the end…God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 1:3,8,9)

ReflectionDespite our strength, there will be days or, more accurately, there have been days when we feel truly overwhelmed by all that is happening to us and around us. There have been days, I am sure, when we long for the visit of friends and family, because we miss the feeling of belonging that comes from the warm hugs that we exchange when we see them.  We feel hemmed in and tormented by the restrictions. We dislike the loneliness that attends our confinement and the loss of freedom to do and go about as we please. At such times we truly feel as if we have been abandoned in the wilderness with our fears and sadness. Change and decay in all around we see!

So, we pray in earnest, for the comfort that can only come from His grace and His abiding peace resident in us through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. We open our hearts and minds in total surrender to receive the manifestation of His reassuring love. For, timid and fearful as we are, it is at those times when we are most vulnerable, frail and afraid, that we are most prone to hear His voice and to bask in the comfort that only those who truly know and trust in Him can experience. My friends, it is in the sobering silence of loneliness that we are able to hear and recognize the still small voice of our faithful God, reminding us that He is with us, that He cares for us, no matter how gloomy our circumstances may appear to us. Joy comes in the morning!

We thank Priscilla Jane Owens, 19th century Sunday School teacher at the Union Square Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland, for the bold and confident declaration of her faith and hope in the goodness of God, as expressed in the refrain of one of the hymns she wrote,  “Will your anchor hold” (CPWI #564): 

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
 grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

She must have been through trying times. Should we not strive for a similar personal testimony?

Our testimony can only be told when we truly know Him, when we are firmly anchored in Him, and when we are grounded firm and deep in His love. Can the COVID-related billows be opportunities for us to later testify to our overcoming “the storms of life…the straits of fear…the floods of death? Abide with me!

Meditation: Our faith will be our strength; in hope we will gain victory!

Prayer: Lord and ruler of all, we humbly surrender our unruly wills to Your great love, Your grace and Your mercy, for we are nothing, Lord, without You. Amen.  

St. Jude’s Church
Stony Hill

Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas 2020
by The St. Jude’s Writers