Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 10, 2020
In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me;
make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold;
for the sake of your name,
lead me and guide me.
Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me,
for you are my tower of strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit,
for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
Make your face to shine upon your servant,
and in your loving-kindness save me.”
Something to Do
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe
For kids (probably…) – Build a fort. Use pillows or boxes or blankets or furniture. How does it feel to be in your fort? How is God’s love like a fort?
For crafters of all ages – Make a model castle. Use toilet paper/paper towel tubes and cereal boxes and sticks from the yard. Use whatever you can find! What does your castle look like? How does it represent the strong rock of God’s love?
For praying people of all ages – Use this image of God in your prayers this week. Address God as “My strong rock” and meditate on this aspect of God. See what emerges in your prayers.
Into your hands
Really examine your hands. Look closely at the lines and joints and shapes of them. Think of all the things your hands can do – holding and touching and moving and shaping the world around you in so many ways.
Trace or draw your hand. Pray with your hands open.
Now imagine yourself in God’s hands and rest.
Something to Wonder
Make haste to deliver me
Have you ever felt that you were in danger or in need of rescue? What was the situation? Did you pray in that moment? If so, how did you pray or what did you say? How did you get out of that situation? Did you pray once you felt safe again? How/what?
Does the current situation feel dangerous to you? Why or why not?
Who (else) might feel endangered by the pandemic?
Can you see signs of God’s deliverance?
Make your face to shine upon your servant
What does a “shining face” look like?
What does is mean for God’s face to shine upon you? How would you know God’s face is shining upon you?
Something to Learn
The Psalms are a collection of poems, prayers, and songs that speak to human emotions and communal experiences. They do not shy away from the highest of highs or the lowest of lows and offer us examples of praise, lament, anger, and hope.
The Bible Project video on the Psalms offers an accessible introduction to the structure of the book as a whole.
For something a bit more rigorous (and portable), try listening to this interview with Old Testament scholar Walter Breuggeman on the topic of the psalms, which he calls “subversive and countercultural”.
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.