Gen 18, Ps 15, Col 1, Lk 10

It was my turn on the United Reformed Church’s Daily Devotions this week, so here is the text of my offering, with a link to the audio recording.

If you find these useful, you can have the devotions delivered daily by email or pod cast, and the URC also provide full Sunday services (rent-a-pulpit) suitable for any denomination. You can also check out their prayer handbook, available from their shop, which provides beautiful and thought-provoking prayers for every week of the lectionary and many others for various occasions. (And I’m not only saying that because I’m one of the writers!)

But before that, here are links for the fabulous selection of readings for this week’s lectionary passages – Abraham and the three visitors; Christ, the image of the invisible God; Martha and Mary – what a plethora!

And the liturgy / hymn resources are, as usual at the end – perfect for use in church, in a small group or in personal devotions.

Additional resources from the Reflectionary and elsewhere

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URC Daily Devotions for July 8th

Click to hear the podcast   Click to read this on the URC site

St John 18: 28-38

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters.  It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters,  so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover.  So Pilate went out to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’ They answered, ‘If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.’  Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.’ The Jews replied, ‘We are not permitted to put anyone to death.’   (This was to fulfil what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

Then Pilate entered the headquarters  again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’  Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’  Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’  Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’  Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’


“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well.” If you are anything like me, you picture Morecambe and Wise mucking around with a skull. Did you know it’s a mis-quote? I’m so familiar with Eric and Ernie’s version that I remember it better than old Billy Shakespeare’s.

Here’s another: “Do you take this man?” … “I do.”
Except it’s not ‘I do’, but ‘I will.’ It makes a difference. Little words can mean a lot.
There’s a little word in today’s passage that means a lot.
‘of’.  Words don’t get much shorter than that.

“My kingdom is not of this world.” That’s how many of us remember it. Jesus is explaining that he’s not the ‘riding on a noble steed, vanquishing the enemies’ type of king that many were expecting, and that’s true. But it might sound like his kingdom is other-worldly, ethereal, nothing to do with the here-and-now, and that’s not.

The Greek word for ‘of’ is another short one: ‘ek’. It means of, but also out of, either physically (like ‘exit’) or logically – the reason or source. ‘My kingdom is not from this world.’

So where is it from? Where does ‘kingness’ come from?
Here in the UK we’re celebrating our Queen’s diamond jubilee, but some time over the next few years we’ll be mourning her loss and proclaiming a new king. Who proclaimed Jesus king?
It sure as heck wasn’t Pilate!

That’s what Jesus was saying: ‘Yes, I have a kingdom, but it comes from a much higher authority than this world. I’m not a king because the Roman Empire recognises me, or because the Jewish people call me that. I’m a king because God says so. My identity and calling are from God, not from this world.’

So what about us? What about me, what about you?
Are our identity and calling from this world, or from God?


God of eternity, God of present,
God of there and then, God of here and now,
may I find the source of my being in your love,
may I know the base of my calling in you,
may I rest content in hearing you call me your own.

Liturgy for Proper 11

Psalm 15, Colossians 1:15-28, Luke 10:38-42

Hymns from Singing the Faith

Confession and Absolution

O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Those who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbours.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ have mercy.

Those who stand by their oath even to their hurt, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Once you were alienated from God, hostile in mind and wicked in action.
Lord, have mercy.
But now God has reconciled you to himself by Christ’s body through death, to present you holy in his sight, blameless and free from accusation.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.

Blessing and Dismissal

And now may Christ, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation,
Christ, in whom all the fullness of God is pleased to dwell,
Christ, through whom and for whom all things were created and in whom all things hold together,
may he make known to you the riches of his glory,
may he present you mature and full of wisdom,
may he reveal to you the mystery of salvation – Christ in you, the hope of glory.

And may the blessing of God – Father, Son and Spirit –
be upon you and remain with you and those you love
this day and for ever.

Go now, into the many tasks of the day,
with God as your guide and your strength.

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