A highly significant verse in the book of Deuteronomy is chapter 6.5:
“Hear O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
The verse is called the Shema from the Hebrew word for ‘Hear.’ It is a call to worship the Lord exclusively. He alone is God and his worship must not be combined or corrupted with the polytheistic worship of the Canaanites, whose land Israel was soon to possess.
Jesus describes this as the great and first commandment so it is very relevant for Christians. We are to offer the Triune God all of our love, using our heart, soul and might. Jesus adds the ‘mind’ as well. We are to think and reflect on who God is before offering our devotion. Whatever our circumstances – pandemic or not – God deserves our love and worship. He alone is worthy.
As we continue through Deuteronomy this Sunday morning we are attempting to tackle chapters 12-26! You might like to read them in preparation.
I have been finding the daily devotionals from Gafcon extremely helpful and uplifting. Dr Ashley Null has been writing the ones through the season of Easter but now Barbara Gauthier has taken over. You can find her daily word here:
Our live-streaming has developed some glitches which we don’t seem able to resolve at the moment so our Sunday services will be on the YouTube channel for the time being. They will be available from the usual times of 10.30am and 6.30pm in the Sunday Services section. Here is the link:
All our video output can be found on the Knockbreda YouTube channel, including a BCP Ascension Day service from St Jude’s. Thank you to Mark and everyone who has contributed to the ‘Life in Lockdown’ videos. Today’s features Jack and Jackie Mayes talking about how their faith sustains them through the current situation. Again, you will find it on YouTube.
Down and Dromore Diocese
Today begins ten days of prayer in the diocese. You can find all the details on the diocesan website.
Friday 22 May: Prayer focus on young adults with Bishop David and Tim Burns
Saturday 23 May: Prayer focus on women with Mrs Hilary McClay
Sunday 24 May: Special prayers from church leaders
Monday 25 May: Prayer focus on worship with Worship Rooms online and Bishop David
Tuesday 26 May: Prayer focus on Select Vestries with Bishop David
Wednesday 27 May: Prayer focus on youth and children, praying The Litany and a message from Bishop David
Thursday 28 May: Prayer focus on a praying diocese with parish prayer meetings online and a message from Bishop David
Friday 29 May: Prayer focus on civic leaders with Bishop David
Saturday 30 May: Prayer focus on men with Bishop David
Sunday 31 May: Bishop David will address the diocese on Pentecost Sunday.
So, today, Day 1 of the 10 Days of Prayer focuses on young adults. And I will leave you with a suggested prayer:
God of Joseph, of David and Daniel,
whose Son our Lord took on flesh
and as a young man entered the gate of death
and defeated the grave;
come in power on that generation of young adults
within and without your Church today.
Equip them with hope, purpose and passion,
that they may know and live out the call
to walk as your disciples,
and bear witness to your life–giving love;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Please continue to take care even when lockdown restrictions are slowly removed.