Worship during the time of the Coronavirus
WholeLife Daily Reflections
The current situation has caused us all to make some unexpected changes and adjustments in our life and daily routine. In hopes of offering a brief time of reflection to give you strength and courage, below is a daily (Sunday through Friday) opportunity to pause and allow yourself a space to breathe. Use this resource as best fits your need, and know that you are held in prayer during this time.
Friday, June 26
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
Fountain of Holy Water, you refresh what is parched and renew what is depleted. The nourishment you give will never fail, and the restoration of your grace brings life. My spirit is thirsty for your comfort. Please fill my heart with your presence. Amen.
Music: Holy Water
Thursday, June 25
Devotional: Remind Me of Who I Am
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God Who Remembers, you are not forgetful. Your love is consistent—never failing and never dependent upon circumstances. You created every part of me with intention, and your compassion covers my brokenness. Fill my heart with the certainty of my identity as your precious child. Amen.
Music: Who You Say I Am
Wednesday, June 24
Devotional: Nurturing Small Things During Isolation
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
Holy Provider, you create what is perfect and complete. You sustain the universe with precision and bless the forests and jungles with spontaneity and freedom. You offer me the privilege of participating in the beauty birthed from your hands. Help me to treasure this gift. Amen.
Music: The Earth is Yours
Tuesday, June 23
Devotional: Prayer and the Persistent Widow
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
Persistent Redeemer, you are wise beyond human understanding. You stand in the gap between justice and mercy. Your arms circle creation with a saving grace available to all. I will posture myself in a prayer of acceptance, trusting your will, your way, and your immense love. Amen.
Monday, June 22
Devotional: Why I Am (Not) a Christian
And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God.
Unknowable Sovereign, you are eternal and omniscient. You exist in Trinity, yet are individual and personal. Every day I am amazed by your love and confounded by your grace. Help me to humbly hold what I think I know today, being willing to accept what you reveal to me tomorrow. Amen.
(This is a unique cover that really compliments today’s devotional. Translation is provided below thanks to Haziel Olivera.)
Theme rivers & oceans
It goes like this:
Your voice calls me to the waters when I’m on the boat like Peter,
But when I doubted my feet sank you loving called out my name,
But today I ask you to be my guide, there are no frontiers, there are no barriers
Nothing to impede me from putting my feet out and walk out towards You.
Obeying your voice, only trusting you, even when the seas turn aggressive and ferocious.
Your hand will always sustain me. But doubts come in that cause me to sink.
Looking into your eyes Lord, I plead for your help.
Then I understood that without You I am nothing, a warrior without a sword,
who can’t go on alone and can only fail, that without your Power my life rushed.
Now I walk with You to a single destiny. I look toward the cross, because when I believed I was going to die, you reached me, loved me and gave me the light.
I will no longer look behind, I will only focus on where You are.
Because I feel that I win, when to your hands I cling, trusting that I can walk.
Sometimes desperately I put lots of “ifs”, I want to rise but I fall.
That’s why I decided to ask you to enter me, let it be Your will and not mine.
Walk with me even though I can’t see you,
I’ve seen how You’ve work, that’s why I believe my friend.
My Father, my Counselor, my Liberator, when I feel weak.
Without You I am nothing, everything is in You.
You hold my hand when I’m dizzy and feel like I can’t go on,
That I’m not capable. There you see me like I don’t see myself.
I hear your voice telling me to be like Job, to remain faithful.
In You there is rest, you fill up my well, and save me from the lion’s den like Daniel.
I don’t want to lose sight of Your great power that embraces me, give me your love, gives me victories instead of defeats. WOO!
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.” — Isaiah 43:2
Sunday, June 21
Devotional: To All Men on Father’s Day
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Holy One, in male and female you created wholeness in the reflection of your character. You instilled unique and holy qualities in men to touch the world with your energy and creativity. Thank you for the men who have made themselves available in my life through whom I have been blessed. Amen.
Friday, June 19
Devotional: Hope and Disappointment
1 Peter 5:10-11
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Irrepressible Savior, you left Heaven intent on redeeming your creation. You were not naïve or blindsided; you knew full well the suffering and brokenness imminent in the plan of salvation. For love and for the redemption of the world, you willingly embraced the rejection, persecution and death, and through it all, your hope never wavered because your eyes were constantly fixed on your Father. I will fix my eyes on you today and, in doing so, embrace hope. Amen.
Music: Desert Song
Thursday, June 18
Devotional: Hate Cannot Drive Out Hate
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Wounded Savior, you were belittled and despised. You experienced prejudice and marginalization. You were seen as an enemy and an outsider. You spoke with bold righteousness and acted with holy resolve, but eventually you were falsely charged and murdered. You know the pain of those who experience these things today. Please fashion my response in the light of your Spirit. Amen.
Music: Another in the Fire
Wednesday, June 17
Devotional: What Love for God Looks Like
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Forgiver of Sins, you are perfect, and all your ways are holy. As you walked the Earth, your touch brought healing, and your words removed shame. As your child, my desire is to grow in humility and declare your mercy to my world. Amen.
Music: Love Moved First
Tuesday, June 16
Devotional: What Does Social Justice Really Mean?
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Just and Merciful Lord, there is no doubt that you are righteous. Your promises are sure, and your presence sustains life. Direct my mind in clarity to seek biblical justice. Amen.
Music: Love God Love People
Monday, June 15
Devotional: Refuse to Be Unchanged
When you have eaten your fill in this land, be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.
Omniscient Friend, your blessings sustain life, and you never tire in pursuit of your children. Your presence provides wholeness and peace. Remind me of your goodness on the path I have never walked alone. I am grateful. Amen.
Music: Counting Every Blessing
Sunday, June 14
Devotional: God’s “No Leper Left Behind” Program
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Radical Lord, you joined with humanity and chose to get messy. You did not label or reject. Your grace continues to be poured out in abundance, flowing over the shameful and undeserving. I am scarred by sin, weak and needy. Thank you for your forgiveness, mercy, and love. Amen.
Music: No Outsiders
Friday, June 12
Devotional: Sacred Stillness
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.”
Warrior of Heaven, your power is sovereign; your strength exceeds all understanding. Yours is a holy posture of fortification, offering shelter to the lost and protection from forces of darkness. I will savor the stillness of your sacred embrace. Amen.
Thursday, June 11
Devotional: The End of Days?
The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
Gelah Raz, Revealer of Mysteries, you are the Director of prophets and the Composer of dreams. You inspire and empower; you provide motivation and discernment. I seek to live with a humble heart, aware that the life I live is not for my glory, but to reveal the glory of Christ. Amen.
Music: In Christ Alone
Wednesday June 10
Devotional: Sermons in the Stars
Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God.
Designer of Skies and Stars, the vastness of your creativity is beyond measure. The celestial array brightens the sky with your inspired imagination. I am your treasured child and more precious in your eyes than the most glorious planetary display. Help me to fully understand the grace I have been given and return to you the praise of which you are worthy. Amen.
Music: Is He Worthy?
Tuesday, June 9
Devotional: Invest in Life
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
Spirit of Compassion, you are water on dry ground, nourishment for the starving. You revive and restore; you break down walls and open conversations. Move my hands and feet, my heart and words, in the rhythm of your grace. Amen.
Music: By Our Love
Monday, June 8
Devotional: I Can’t Breathe
I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
Savior of Sorrows, you understand grief. You lived through injustice, betrayal, and death. You found rest in a tomb before rising to change the world. I am not sure how to process what is happening in my world or what you are calling me to do. I need your grace and wisdom today. Amen.
Music: Break Every Chain
Sunday, June 7
Devotional: Finding God Where You Lease Expect Him
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Majestic Creator, you do not hide, and you are anxious to be seen. Your presence is found during times of joy and sorrow – in places of justice and unrest. Open my eyes to the reality that is your holiness on full display in my world. Amen.
Music: Shadow Step
Friday, June 5
Devotional: Going Forward Means We Can’t Go Back
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!
Word of Hope, you have made yourself accessible and present. You are seen in daily life and lean in to be found. I have a message desperately needed today, and I will live and share your good news as you direct. Amen.
Thursday, June 4
Devotional: Did God Give Us the Coronavirus?
1 John 4:16
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
Giver of All Good Things, what you offer is always beneficial and life-giving. What you provide is healing and encouraging. Even in the midst of challenging times, you are a Rock, a Fortress, and a Shelter. You are my place of comfort, and I am restored in your presence. Amen.
Wednesday, June 3
Devotional: The Power of Shared Burdens
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Spirit of Peace, you can be found in silence and also in chaos. You inspire in moments of harmony and offer calm during times of turmoil. I want to be a bearer of your peace to those who are hurting and distressed. Guide and lead me today. Amen.
Music: Hold Us Together
Tuesday, June 2
Devotional: A Perfectly Safe Place
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
El Racham, Compassionate God, your view of time is from beginning to eternity. Life is found in you alone, and restoration is secured through the grace of Jesus. The suffering I see in this world exhausts my spirit. Help me to find courage and strength in knowing your compassion and mercy are new every day and that I am covered by your love. Amen.
Music: Alive & Breathing
Monday, June 1
Devotional: My Brother’s Keeper
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
God of My Heart, you are wisdom and compassion. You are gentleness and grace. You are everything good in a world that is so very broken. I ask for your Spirit of discernment to guide and empower the strength of my convictions. Amen.
Music: Most Merciful God
Sunday, May 31
Devotional: American Freedom for What?
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
God Who Frees, you have redeemed the fallen and restored the broken. Your mercy offers forgiveness and new life. I walk in the freedom of your love. Lead me move forward with steps that bless others. Amen.
Music: To Be Like You
Friday, May 29
Devotional: When Will Your Church Be Back to Normal?
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Ever-Changing and Unwavering God, your grace is faithfully constant and wildly abundant. Your majesty is visible in words and creatively displayed in nature. I am a creature of habit, and change can be difficult. Hold me close as we travel this new road. Amen.
Music: Burn the Ships
Thursday, May 28
Devotional: Now is the Time to Be My Brother’s Keeper
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you.
Impartial and Righteous God, violence and injustice are detestable to you, and you weep over a world without mercy. You bled and died for the redemption of all, commanding your children to love others as you have loved them. Break my heart for what breaks yours, forgive me for the times I choose comfort over compassion, and open my mouth to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Amen.
Music: Kyrie Eleison
Wednesday, May 27
Devotional: A Sacred Romance in COVID 19
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Gelah Raz, Revealer of Mysteries, the secrets of eternity are yours alone. In grace, you reveal what is necessary and hold closely those things that cannot be understood. I will listen for your voice in thankfulness for the greatest mystery of your love for me. Amen.
Tuesday, May 26
Devotional: Grieving Alone Together
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
God Who Stays, you renew the strength of the weary and sustain those who mourn with your unfailing love. You wait in the silent places when words cannot be found. In this time of loss and uncertainty, I seek your presence. Amen.
Monday, May 25
Devotional: More Than a Three-Day Weekend
The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die.
Conqueror of Death, you are greater than the grave. By your resurrection, you declared that the final breath in this life is only a welcome sigh into eternity. Today I am thinking of all those who are resting in your care after sacrificing for my freedom. My prayer is for comfort and peace for those who miss their presence. Amen.
Music: God With Us
Sunday, May 24
Devotional: Has the Quarantine Taught It All It Can?
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.
Quiet Spirit, you whisper wisdom. You inspire, equip, and comfort. As I begin to venture forward in my world, may I always be mindful of what you seek to teach me. Amen.
Music: All Things Together
Friday, May 22
Devotional: The Mystery of Time
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
Basilei ton Aionon, King Eternal, you have no beginning and no end. You have made yourself known to your creation who is unable to comprehend the fullness of you. You wait with loving anticipation for the renewed and redeemed relationship that was your perfect plan. Place in my heart appreciation for what you have provided in the now and a longing for what you have planned in the not yet. Amen.
Thursday, May 21
Devotional: Watch and Pray
1 Peter 5:7
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Savior Who Understands, you willingly joined humanity for the purpose of redemption. In humble submission you laid yourself before the Father, and your prayers were your lifeline to strength and clarity. Thank you for being present and hearing the prayers on my heart. Amen.
Music: Christ Be All Around Me
Wednesday, May 20
Devotional: Pausing for Wonder
O Lord, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures.
Molder and Painter of Nature, you create without restriction. You imagined the mountains and the seas, the skies and the life that fills them. Your love and mercy are displayed fresh every morning and sealed with a promise every nightfall. Open my eyes to see your wonder today and find joy in my Creator. Amen.
Music: So Will I
Tuesday, May 19
Devotional: Prayer of Relinquishment
1 Peter 5:6-7
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
God My Maker, you know all things because you created all things. You timing is perfect, and your desire is always for good. My understanding is limited, so I lay everything at your feet. Not my will, but yours be done. Amen.
Music: Your Will Your Way
Monday, May 18
Devotional: Global Compassion Fatigue
Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
God Who Knows, you are immune to neither pain nor fatigue. You hear every cry and understand the seeming hopelessness and devastation of sin. I cry out to you in lament for the way things are. I give you my sadness, my distress, and my weariness, trusting you in all things. Amen.
Music: Weep With Me
Sunday, May 17
Devotional: Christians Should Be Eternal Optimists
Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.
God of Unexpected Joy, you delight in revealing the beauty of unknown mercies. You restore, you rebuild, and you renew. You are writing a story in my life, and I will rest with confident anticipation that my future is found in you. Amen.
Music: The Father’s House
Friday, May 15
Devotional: Some Good News
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Spirit of Goodness, your reach is far and wide. You stretch quietly over the shallow breath of a baby and billow out loudly in the melodies of music. You are seen when you are sought. Help me to be a maker of good things today. Amen.
Music: Let Revival Come
Thursday, May 14
Devotional: I Will Provide For You
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
God of Mercy, you are never far from those you love. Your Spirit is a shelter of solace and strength. You are able, and you are good. I will trust you in all things. Amen.
Wednesday, May 13
Devotional: God’s Promises in a Life You Didn’t Choose
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Sovereign Over All, you are good. You are steadfast and trustworthy. You do not instigate tragedies; however, your grace and wisdom work through them. I will find my hope and my home in you. Amen.
Music: Shelter In
Tuesday, May 12
Devotional: Hope Will Conquer Death
1 Corinthians 1:8-9
He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Yahweh Elohim, you are inseparable as God of Father, Son, and Spirit. You reign above all, and time stands still in your presence. You have promised to restore your creation and establish a kingdom of peace and grace. I will find my strength for today in your faithfulness and place my hope in your persistent love. Amen.
Monday, May 11
Devotional: A Future and a Hope
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Jehovah-Palat—Deliverer, you are above all that is known and unknown. Your eyes never leave your creation, and your vigilance is for the purpose of justice. Knowing you will always work for my good, I will trust you even when I am unsure of what the future holds. Amen.
Music: Raise a Hallelujah
Sunday, May 10
Devotional: Let’s Celebrate All Women this Mother’s Day
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Holy One, in male and female you created wholeness in the reflection of your character. You instilled unique and holy qualities in women to touch the world with your gentleness and strength. Thank you for the women in my life through whom I have been blessed. Amen.
Friday, May 8
Devotional: Blindness, Viruses, Sin and Grace
He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
Forgiver and Redeemer, forgiveness and redemption are not what you do, they are who you are. Though the fall of sin was not of your making, the gifts of salvation and grace were always your plan. Thank you for loving me in the midst of my brokenness and for the wholeness with which you cover me. Amen.
Music: All My Hope
Thursday, May 7
Devotional: Unnecessary Baggage
In my search for wisdom I observed all that was going on everywhere across the earth—ceaseless activity, day and night. (Of course, only God can see everything, and even the wisest man who says he knows everything, doesn’t!)
Keeper of Time and Eternity, you see the beginning to the end. Days stretch before you with intention, purpose, and rhythm. I invite you into my life today to help me reorder and reevaluate my steps moving forward. Amen.
Music: King of My Heart
Wednesday, May 6
Devotional: For Now, We Groan
O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone!
God of Order, your designs are flawless. With intentions for community and holy relationships, you created perfection. My world is broken, and my days right now seem totally out of synch. Help me to remember your constant care in the daily mercies you provide. Amen.
Music: Broken Vessels
Tuesday, May 5
Devotional: The Paradox of Fear
And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.”
El Shaddai, Lord God Almighty, there is no other god like you. Your wisdom and power are beyond understanding. You are found in the awesome beauty of a sunset and the delicate frailty of a dragonfly wing. I stand in awe of your sovereignty and trust in your unfailing love. Amen.
Monday, May 4
Devotional: Saying No to “Maskshaming”
Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
Gracious Judge, your law is perfect, and it is clearly defined in love. You desire justice and mercy, and you have provided redemption and grace as a gift. Open my heart to respond to others in humility, reacting as your child, content in the harmony you provide. Amen.
Sunday, May 3
Devotional: Living an Ordinary Life
Jesus replied, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
God of Opportunities, your heart is given to your creation. You dwell in the quiet conversations of friends and bring comfort to those who mourn. Help me to order my days with priorities of love and grace, seeking to serve and bless others. Amen.
Music: Vessel for You
Friday, May 1
Devotional: Groundhog Day
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
God of Surprises, you delight in the unexpected. You are the Creator of laughter and joy. Your grace comes alive in a child’s giggle and covers the world in a cool breeze on a summer day. I wait expectantly for the mercies you will reveal to me today. Amen.
Music: Go Anywhere
Thursday, April 30
Devotional: Productivity and the Pandemic
Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Gentle Shepherd, you guide with calm assurance and speak soft words of discernment. Resting in you brings hope and serenity. Order my priorities within your will, lead me to the waters of your peace, and shelter me in your grace. Amen.
Music: I Will Rest In You
Wednesday, April 29
Devotional: COVID-19, Tradition and…Taco Bell
Today’s Reflection was written by WLC member Tami Wiese for an on-campus devotional for Boston College School of Theology & Ministry (BCSTM), where she is a student.
When my sons were little, my husband traveled three days out of four. By the time he returned on Fridays, I was a stressed frazzled mess caring for three active boys all week by myself. When my husband came home, he suggested we go out for dinner to a restaurant that was little-boy-friendly, practical, and cheap: Taco Bell.
Once we arrived at Taco Bell, we found a table and my husband went to place our order. The concept of “free refills” had just hit the stores, and he ordered only one cup for the family to share. He knew the boys would only take a sip or two and with the endless free refills - what a deal!
Thus, every Friday, we began going to Taco Bell for dinner. It soon became our family tradition. For 30 years, every Friday evening, whether we were at home or traveling, our family went to Taco Bell. Then one exciting evening, our oldest son introduced his fiancé to our Friday night Taco Bell tradition. When my husband arrived with the filled order, he set down one cup for the family to share. We all stared at the cup. We had, without noticing it, been sharing one cup every week for thirty years! Without missing a beat, my husband said, “I guess we need another cup.” Now when my family meets for Taco Bell, we get three cups - one for each family.
Our Friday night Taco Bell tradition took a hit this year when I moved to Boston. My middle son and his wife had already left for New York. My oldest son and his wife just had a baby and they weren’t ready to expose Solomon to the all germs found in the restaurant. And it takes almost an hour train ride for me to get to the nearest Taco Bell. Earlier this year, my husband FaceTimed me all alone at Taco Bell, as my youngest son had gone camping. Perhaps our tradition would be ending.
Our traditions at BCSTM have taken a hit this semester due to the COVID-19 virus. It has been a blow to our close-knit community. Classes are canceled. Friends have left. But no matter where we are, we all share the one cup of friendship and love in Christ. And the Good News? The free refills are endless.
1 John 1:5-7
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
Unchanging God, your love is unwavering. You seek those who wander and gather those who hear your call. Though many things change, you are constant and will always be found in those who listen for your voice. Thank you for your grace and the community of blessing you provide. I believe you are alive in me today. Amen.
Music: Because He Lives
Tuesday, April 28
Devotional: Pay Attention
Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
God in Spirit, you guide and you teach. You reveal yourself in beauty and revelation. Your presence is as compelling as a storm and as gentle as a whisper. During this pause in all that is ordinary, help me be aware of your movement and welcome the sustenance you provide. Amen.
Monday, April 27
Devotional: This is Not a Drill
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Holy Place of Solitude, you offer rest. Your story continues to be told, and the ending promises a full understanding of peace. I will place myself in your care today, trusting in the Author and Finisher of my faith. Amen.
Music: The Garden
Sunday, April 26
1 Corinthians 12:27
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
Jesus, you are the Cornerstone on which the church stands. You are the Anchor in the storm and the Compass in the wilderness. My faith is not dependent on a building, and my offerings of praise are not limited to a day. Guide me as I live for you in fresh ways. Amen.
Music: Still Rolling Stones
Friday, April 24
Devotional: Worship In the Meantime
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
God of the Past, Present and Future, you are the great I AM. You span time and space and are restricted by neither. Your greatness is immeasurable, and there are no limits to your love. I wait in your presence and invite your transformational grace. Amen.
Thursday, April 23
Devotional: This Too Shall Pass?
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit, you are perfect Community. In oneness you cover the world with your grace. In unison, you care for all of life. During this time of separation, help me to be yielded to you in my commitment to love you above all else and love my neighbor as myself. Amen.
Music: New Wine
Wednesday, April 22
Devotional: This Pandemic Isn't God’s Plan
Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
Good, Good God, you are the Author of perfection. You heal what is broken; you redeem what has fallen, and you restore life. Even in the worst of times, you offer compassion and mercy, and that is the truth I will rest in and freely share. Amen.
Music: Good, Good Father
Tuesday, April 21
Devotional: Sweatpants Psalms
So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
God of Joy, you are the originator of color and scent. You took delight in creating a kingdom of animals in all shapes and sizes. In human form, you frequently took time for friendships and parties. Let me not lose sight of those things in which I can find joy today. Amen.
Monday, April 20
Devotional: Is Social Media Silencing Our Souls
But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.
Sovereign God, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. You reign above all and have the power of life in your hands. I stand in awe that my Creator and Redeemer’s greatest desire is for connection with me. Help me to seek your presence in the world’s pause, resting in moments of silence with you. Amen.
Music: Be Still My Soul
Sunday, April 19
Devotional: Pretending to Have It All Together Won’t Help Anyone
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Rock of My Salvation, you are a friend of the weak and broken. You are a shelter in the storm and a place of safety for those who have fallen. Give me strength to be vulnerable, to find humility in my weakness and embrace my dependence on you. Amen.
Music: Every Breath
Friday, April 17
Devotional: A Lament for Lost Control
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
Spirit of Wisdom, you are the Architect of Beauty. You created rhythm and order. You are seen in creativity and revelation. I struggle when I cannot see the end from the beginning. I will trust in your love and patiently wait, knowing I am in your care. Amen.
Thursday, April 16
Devotional: Dare to Hope in God
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Holy Parent, you are aware of all things and are actively present in every situation. Your mercy covers every sorrow, and your gentleness embraces all who suffer. I feel loss, and I’m not sure what to do with the sadness I feel. Give me strength for the day. Amen.
Music: Weep With Me
Wednesday, April 15
Devotional: Can Hope and Worry Coexist?
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Keeper of Promises, you can be trusted. You never fail to fulfill your commitment of unconditional love and needful provision. Worry sometimes clouds my soul. I will find my hope and rest in you today. Amen.
Music: I Am Here
Tuesday, April 14
Devotional: I Didn’t Know I Loved You Like This
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
God of Community, you dwell in Trinity—Father, Son, and Spirit. You created humanity for relationship and the church as your representative for the world. Separation is painful, and isolation brings loneliness. Give me courage in the waiting and a renewed appreciation for the purpose you have given your people. Amen.
Music: Good Grace
Monday, April 13
Devotional: Jesus Healed Without Touching
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Gentle Shepherd, you are not bound by human limitations. Your Spirit is not weakened by disease nor frailty, and your constant presence offers rest and peace. Your soothing goodness make me whole. Amen.
Music: Be Still
Sunday, April 12
Devotional: Surviving Crucifixion
“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!”
Lamb of God, you have taken away the sins of the world. You have covered creation with your grace, and the touch of your mercy offers peace. I will celebrate your resurrection today, knowing, regardless of my circumstances, I rest safely in your arms. Have mercy on me. Amen.
Music: Christ is Risen
Friday, April 10
Devotional: Preparing Your Heart
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Guardian of Hope, you gave yourself to redeem the world. Though your creation is broken and scarred, you see beauty and potential. Help me to live today in the fullness of the grace you offer. Amen.
Music: Glorious Ruins
Thursday, April 9
Devotional: Why God Doesn’t Feel Real During COVID-19
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Eternal God, your word is true, and your promises are sure. You remain constant through all circumstances, and your Spirit moves in rhythms of grace. I feel unsure of what the future holds, but I will rest with confidence in your mercy. Amen.
Music: You Already Know
Wednesday, April 8
Devotional & Prayer: Flooded by Too Much Information?
But the Lord reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne. He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.
Music: Still in Control
Tuesday, April 7
Devotional: Fear Not (A Meditation on Isaiah 41:10)
If I live in fearful times;
With things I cannot see,
Things I do not know, and
Things I cannot control.
For I am with you
He does not remove what I fear,
Or the fear I feel.
He simply promises,
I am not alone.
Be not Dismayed
So, I need not lose heart,
Nor let my fears overwhelm,
Or my emotions win the day,
Or even deny how scared I am.
For I am your God
Because the King of the Universe
I will strengthen you and help you
Through a partnership,
With the Spirit.
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand
So, when my knees buckle,
When my feet can’t find the bottom,
When I’m ground down by my fears,
I can trust Him.
*From the New International Version
© 2020 Don Williams. All rights reserved
Most Powerful God, your arms reach to eternity yet offer a gentle embrace. Your voice shouts down a storm yet whispers words of comfort. I will put my trust in you, denying the fear that threatens my peace. Amen.
Music: Psalm 23 (I Am Not Alone)
(Don Williams is a pastor, teacher, author, poet, and friend of WholeLife Church)
Monday, April 6
Devotional: The Christian Response to the Coronavirus
1 Corinthians 10:23-24
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
Holy Spirit, you are the Comforter. Though you are unseen, your presence inspires, motivates, and brings assurance. Give me strength to offer healing by my absence—though unseen, may I share peace and hope. Amen.
Music: Spirit of the Living God
Sunday, April 5
Devotional: When I Was a Health Risk to Society
1 Peter 2:24
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
Restorer of Life, your touch heals. Your love rejoices in anticipation of a redeemed world. I carry the scars of my broken world. Help me to patiently rest in my current isolation, knowing it is an opportunity to show love to my community. Amen.
Friday, April 3
Devotional: Don’t Quarantine Yourself From Living Today
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Inventor of Time, you order the stars and direct the galaxies. A thousand years are as a day to you. Help me to live in the moment, to be aware of your countless mercies, and to see the blessings you have laid before me. Amen.
Music: Keep Me In The Moment
Thursday, April 2
Devotional: Uncanny Homes
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.
Redeemer of All Things, you have always had a plan to recover your creation. When the world moans in distress, you sing over it a song of hope. I need to be comforted by your melody of peace. Open my ears to hear it. Amen.
Music: The Blessing
Wednesday, April 1
Devotional: “Be Not Afraid” (um, yeah . . . okay)
Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.
Protecting God, there is nothing to fear in you. You are assurance, peace, and hope. Your sustaining love offers me with the serenity of your Spirit. I will rest in you. Amen.
Music: I Know
Tuesday, March 31
Devotional: Strange Times
(Kristen Harmon is a gifted writer and also a member of WholeLife Church)
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
Healing God, you make all things new. You create from dust and bring life where there is devastation. The world is crying out for your merciful touch. Give me your steady Spirit, encouraging words, and a peaceful heart. Amen.
Music: Land of the Living
Monday, March 30
Devotional: The Framework for Hope
The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.
Present Savior, your strength never lessens, and your mercy never fails. Your love is without measure, and your wisdom sees beyond eternity. I will anchor my life in you, knowing you hold all things in a gentle embrace of grace. Amen.
Music: I’m Leaning On You
Sunday, March 29
Devotional: Lent in the Season of Coronavirus
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Faithful Creator, you are not the originator of virus nor disease. You are the Maker of beauty and wholeness. I am distressed by the condition of my world, but I put my trust in you, seeking your comfort and peace. Amen.