(Psalm 32) – J G White
11 am, Sun, March 31, 2019 – UBC Digby
the Devotional life
Today we worship by having a mini festival of devotions. We share some of the tools we have been given that have guided our personal prayer life. There are many ways we cultivate the inner life, many ways God cares for our souls and grows us in spirit.
Here is a scene with Jesus and His disciples, from Mark 6: 30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
We look to Jesus as our guide and model for personal devotions and spiritual discipline. You might take time every day for quiet time with God. You may take a sabbath each week to be even more devoted and in touch. You may take special days each year for a retreat of some sort: for rest, or renewal, or even inner wrestling.
What is your devotional life like? Tell one another.
the Abundant life
One thing our Baptist tradition has taught us is that, with God, forgiveness and acceptance and love are abundant. There is plenty for us, and for the whole world. Grace is amazing.
Deep inside, how my soul is doing will effect my whole life. ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,’ said Jesus. (Matthew 12:34)
Our Creator, our Saviour, our shared Spirit, is a God of abundance, not of scarcity. But it is a slow lesson for so many of us to learn: to learn that generosity is greater than conserving and keeping and accumulating.
Next Sunday here our theme will be Financial Health. Today, in this moment: how has your ‘walk with the Lord’ helped you be a cheerful giver? What has helped you become generous, and even make sacrifices with your time and your resources?
the Prayerful life
About twenty years ago I went to a men’s retreat at Camp Pagweak, near Pugwash. Only about twenty men gathered there for a weekend, from across Cumberland and Colchester counties. As a group of us got ready for bed in our cabin – a simple, out of date cabin – one fellow from our church in Parrsboro quietly caught our attention. As the rest of us climbed into our bunks, Ernie (Scullion) first got down on his eighty-year old knees, by his bed, and prayed.
What we do with our bodies can impact our praying, just as the words we use, or other prayer tools. This is why fasting can be important, or music.
I brought a few resource books for prayer and devotions today. This is one part of my library I do keep as a special, separate section: prayer.
What have you used to help your prayer life?
PRAYERS of the People
Do any of you have any prayers with you? Books that guide with helpful words? Maybe you memorized a little prayer that you still use. Let us use some of these tools to pray today. Take your turns, let us speak our prayers. Let us pray.
the Scriptural life
I think I can truly say I grew up in the church. And my home church had plenty of things for me, when I was a child and a teenager. But I was only taught the mere basics of the devotional life. Just two things, really: pray and study the Bible.
The bit I learned about using the Bible did lay the foundation for what I learned once I moved away from home at 17. This Book, the holy scriptures, continues to grow, for me: to become more important, inspiring, and challenging.
OK, show and tell time: what has helped you use the Bible in your life? A study Bible? A particular translation in English? A certain plan for reading it in a year?