I greet you in the name of Christ and bring you His peace and grace. Another week has passed and here we are again having our short time of reflection on the God’s wonderful works in our lives and be encouraged by His words. May the truth of God reenergise us to know Him deeper, love Him dearer, follow Him closer and obey him better.
Prayer of the Week
Let us pray,
Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding: pour into our hearts such love toward you, that, loving you above all things, we may obtain your promises which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Bible reading today is taken from Isaiah 41:8-13.
But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend,I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Held By His Hand
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
The most common sentiment in this one and a half year of coronavirus pandemic is one of fear. The dreadful nature of this disease and the uncertainty it brings to individuals, communities, countries and indeed globally; strikes fear in the heart of most people.
We are fearful of the virus, we are fearful of going out, we are fearful of being too close other people, we are fearful of essentials running out, we are fearful of losing our livelihoods, we are fearful of what the future holds, we are fearful of so many things.
I remember back to my childhood fear of dogs. Dad would bring me to visit our neighbours and, in those days, every family would rear dogs to guard their houses. When the barking dogs with their baring white sharp teeth would approach us, I would be scared out of my wits. My only and greatest succour was to hold onto my father’s large and strong hands. I know that as long as he has me in his powerful hands, I am safe. I now have the courage to walk through the midst of the loud barking dogs that seem to ready to pounce any minute. I still have my fear, you see, courage does not mean the absence of fear, but in spite of the fear. I had move forward from my fear of barking dogs because I know who held my hand.
Hebrews 8:9 also says that God took the Israelites by the hand and led them out of Egypt. What a lovely picture of God – holding their hands and leading them along the way. Just the image of my Daddy holding my hand…
Everything went well as long as the Israelites held God’s hand. He not only led them, He also blessed them by providing them all they needed. More than that, he made an everlasting covenant with them to be their God if they would be His people.
Unfortunately, they got tired of holding onto God’s hand and they stop reaching up to God although God was still reaching down to them. The result was that they stumbled around the wilderness in circles for 40 years – a journey that would had taken them only 11 days to make.
That will happen to us if we get tired of reaching up to God’s hand reaching down to hold ours. The danger is that we (like the Israelites of old) may feel adequate without God and cease to reach out to Him. This is when we feel that we do not need Him all the time and thus grow lazy to reach up and hold His hand.
Our future will be uncertain and maybe daunting. Who can tell what the consequences of this pandemic entail? Who can predict what the rest of this year will hold? There is only one certainty and consolation – and that is, God is the master of the future. If our hand is tightly holding onto His, we can never go wrong. Nothing is more satisfying than when we are under the most gracious, wise, understanding, loving and safe hand of God. Your Christian life which began at the foot of the cross will end with a crown in His presence if you do not let go of God’s hand.
What are you holding onto today?
The Morning Collect
Almighty God, you fill all things with your presence. In your great love, keep us near you this day. Grant that in all our ways and doings we may remember that you see us, and may always have grace to know and perceive what things you would have us do, and give us strength to do the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God who goes before you: Give you wisdom enough to live this week in places of communion with Him. Give you courage enough to follow Him into the difficult places you rather avoid. Give you love enough to bear patiently with the hurts and struggles of your friends. Give you faith, patience and perseverance to hold His hand tightly each day. Give you peace enough to accept and nurture your own selves. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.
As always, it is such a delight to share this short time of reflection with you. In this trying and uncertain times, make sure your hand is firmly placed on His loving hand all the time. Till we meet again next week, have Christ’s peace, rejoice always, do good, love outrageously, enjoy life, praise God. Amen. Goodbye.
 An Ancient Collect, fifth century, freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953.