Psalm 121:1-8 (NRSV)

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.   

John 20:19-20 (NRSV)

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.   

DEVOTION – Patricia Marks (Georgia)

I love to knit.  So when my dear friend was battling cancer, I made her a shawl.  At first, I just concentrated on the pattern, making sure to get the number of stitches right and keeping the rows even.  Then, as I settled into the rhythm of knitting, I began to pray.  I prayed for my friend’s comfort.  I prayed that Christ would hold her in his arms.  I felt my prayer become tangible as the shawl grew longer.

One of the last times I saw my friend, she was resting on her sofa, covered by the shawl I had made for her.  And while I knew that there was no earthly cure for her illness, I also felt some measure of peace.  Something as commonplace as yarn had been threaded through with compassion.  Christ was there for both of us.  I think that is what peace is:  filling the darkness of pain and grief with love.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Christ’s love can flow through the works of our hands

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we ask that you use our hands and our hearts to bring your peace to those who need comfort as we pray,  “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4, KJV).  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE FACING A FRIEND”S DEATH

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