Daily Archives: May 4, 2022

Evening Prayer: May 4th

Almighty God, we give you thanks for surrounding us, as daylight fades, with the brightness of the vesper light; and we implore you of your great mercy that, as you enfold us with the radiance of this light, so you would shine into our hearts the brightness of your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 19:1-5

Psalm 19:1-5 (ESV)

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

19 The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Thoughts to Ponder from John 16:16-20

John 16:16-20 (ESV)

Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy

16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

    In each of our lives, there are people we miss terribly. Some have moved away, some have died, and some have just lost touch with us. In each case, losing their friendship can be painful. So we do what we can to recall them: We look at their pictures, we read their letters, and we try to remember all the great times we had with them. But there’s no substitute for actually being with them. At times we would give anything to have them beside us.

     The apostles would feel a similar pain when Jesus was taken away from them. After seeing him die on the cross, they would weep and mourn, just as Jesus prophesied. But they would have much more than memories to get them by. They would be eyewitnesses to his resurrection! Their joy would indeed be complete once they had seen him risen from the dead and understood their mission to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth!

     As the spiritual descendants of the apostles, we can have the same joy they did. But we’re also human, and we can’t hide from reality. When some great misfortune occurs, Jesus can seem very distant, almost as distant as he did to the apostles after the crucifixion. The Lord has promised us he will return again, but what about present trials? And what about the evil that is in the world? All these things can cause us to wonder whether God has abandoned us.

     The answer is, he’s never left us! Jesus is not only with us, he’s within us, by the power of his Holy Spirit. If you are struggling right now, call on the Spirit for whatever you need: healing, peace, wisdom, even joy! Cast your burdens on the Lord, and remember the words of Paul: “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).