URC Daily Devotion Thursday 23rd May 2024

Thursday 23rd May 2024
 
Reading Psalm 18:16-19

God reached down from on high; he took me;
    he drew me out of mighty waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
    he delivered me because he delighted in me.

Reflection
The psalms have always been a site of hope for me. The words ‘God brought me out into a broad place, or a spacious place, from Psalm 18, has become something of a personal motto for me for the last few years. The idea of breadth, space, delight, and rescue that sing through are central to my understanding of what it means to ‘build communities of good news’ – one of the marks of mission.

It has been my experience that ‘good news’ is often figured in two directly opposed ways, the ‘straight and narrow’ or the ‘wandering and spacious’. By supporting wandering/wondering, instead of imposing a narrow definition of good news, we can be a part of the journeys of communities with flat structures, that form themselves, rather than building communities in ways that are hierarchical or draw on the unhelpful desire to ‘save’ others.

The people whom I work amongst as a minister outside of mainstream church in Cambridge’s city centre have begun to form two communities, “Solidarity Hub” and “The Gathering”, as they travel together in spacious places – broad spaces. These have become the communities in which I glimpse good news, including the good news of deconstructing and re-grounding faith– of knocking down the fences and walls that mar God’s broad spaces.

Many of us – including me – have experienced the sense of drowning in ‘the mighty waters’ of domination-based Church structures, controlling saviour mentalities and hierarchical decision making. Many of us – including me – have experienced the hatred of those deemed mightier than us. For us, then, a community of good news is one where we all make the decisions and do the work, we all delight in each-other, and we live out the love of God – the ground of all being – in a way that liberates, that does not constrain.

God is bringing us out into a broad place. May it be so.

Prayer 

This prayer is an excerpt of the ‘Theos Prayers’ co-created, and said weekly, by Cambridge Solidarity Hub.

Acknowledging the limits of language,
We bring our attention to God.
Acknowledging the limits of our power,
We bring our attention to justice.
Acknowledging the limits of our love,
We bring our attention to empathy.
 
If able and willing, we say together:
Ground of our being, as near as breath,
And yet far beyond our understanding,
holy is all, new potentials arise,
sparking change, here and now.
May we enliven each-other, as God enlivens us.
God is in the spaces in between
May we rest in those spaces, too.
May we resist destruction
and strive for loving kindness
In all people, and all times, Amen
 
We close with a moment of quietness, bringing our attention to that which we do not yet know…
Amen.

 

Today’s writer

The Revd Alex Clare-Young is a pioneer minister in Cambridge and a member of Downing Place URC.

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book