Subject: Daily Prayers and Scriptures: Monday, April 6

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During this time in which the whole world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are posting Daily Bible Readings from the International Bible Lessons for Christian Teaching, Spring 2020, plus a meditation to help guide your prayers, for your inspiration and encouragement. 

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Mark 16:1-8, NRSV
The Women Find Jesus’ Tomb Empty

16 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Take these deeds

By Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, United Methodist Church

Take these deeds…and put them in an earthenware jar…that they may last for a long time. For thus says [the Holy One] ‘Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land’.”–Jeremiah 32:14-15 NRSV

Jeremiah bought the field at Anathoth at a dire time. He dared to embrace hope in the midst of seeming hopelessness.

As the current pandemic spreads its silent invisible tentacles, I find myself re-visiting memories from early childhood. Born in 1939, these memories are fraught with a youngster’s experiences of the second world war.

I am bombarded with recollections of ration books, limited travel, palpable scarcity, blackouts, sirens screaming, star-laced window flags denoting sons and daughters away at war, relief visible on my grandmother’s face when letters announced Tom and Bill were yet alive, even as Josie’s scream still resounds at the news of her son Mickey’s death over the Sea of Japan.

Most of all, I remember Aunt Alma. While her husband, Tom, followed front-line troops across Europe in the Jeeps and trucks he skillfully helped to keep running, while experiencing the worst of war’s atrocities, Alma kept his little Southeastern Ohio gasoline station functioning for five years by donning her overalls, pumping gas, adding oil, filling radiators, checking batteries and washing windshields. All this with little complaint as she awaited the war’s end and her beloved’s return.

Like so many of that Greatest Generation, Aunt Alma simply kept-on keeping-on, while quietly trusting “Houses and fields and vineyards” would again flourish in the tiny coal-mining village, which was her home.

Like you, I do not know what the future of this pandemic holds, but with Jeremiah, and like Aunt Alma, I invite you to join me in faithfully preparing for the long haul, while trusting “Houses and fields and vineyards shall again” flourish, not only in this land, but in the whole created order the Holy One loves. In the long run, Sacred Mystery will prevail. Count on it.

You can follow our daily readings, prayers, and meditations on our website at safe, healthy, and blessed during this time.
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