Subject: Daily Prayers and Scriptures: Tuesday, April 7

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As the whole world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are posting Daily Bible Readings for your inspiration and encouragement. Texts for Monday through Saturday are selected in support of the Sunday lesson in the Uniform Lessons Series, Spring 2020. A daily meditation written by faith leaders who are friends and partners of the NCC accompanies each day’s Bible reading.
Acts 9:1-9, NRSV
Saul Meets Jesus on Damascus Road

9:1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

A Meditation on Psalm 23

By Rev. Dr. Clayton Childers, United Methodist Clergy, Retired.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. (One of the passages that I still recite in the King James version)

It is often in times of uncertainty and fear that we feel a more urgent need to seek the presence of God. Being forced to slow down we realize our own weakness and inadequacy. Our souls speak to us, calling us seek hope and meaning in the long days and dark nights. A wonderful place to begin can be found in the comforting words of the 23rd Psalm.

Psalm 23 offers a promise of comfort for souls disrupted, lives discombobulated. Our world turned up-side-down by a mysterious virus – businesses shut, quarantines, social distancing, financial losses and fear have become our daily life. All of this in the season of Lent when we are called reflect, repent, reform, renew. May this moment of crisis not be wasted. Perhaps now the best many of us can do is pause, breathe, pray, seeking God in the silence, listening for the voice of the shepherd.

Walk with us, Shepherd God, through these days. Lead us to the streams of living water. Walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death, help us know that you are ever with us. As the shepherds look with awe toward the night sky, may the stars of heaven also comfort us. Life is a precious gift, this too will pass, a new day will dawn.

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