Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK FIVE
ORBIT – DAY TWENTY ONE
Hello and welcome to week five of Orbit – the daily devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Each weekday we give you a little bit of the Bible to think about, and a practical way to apply it to everyday life. After spending four weeks in the book of Acts, where we learned a lot about Paul’s story and how he lived his life, we are now going to start working our way through some of his letters to the early church. We start with his letter to the church in Rome:
BIBLE READING – Romans 1: 18-20
Just be aware before we start – this might not sound like a particularly encouraging passage, but it really is…
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Wrath is a difficult word, especially in a culture where we like to think that everyone should just try to get along. The idea of an angry God can be off-putting to some people, but I’d argue that sometimes we all need a bit of wrath. In a world where people do awful things to each other; where power-hungry leaders commit genocide, and where children very often aren’t safe; surely it’s a good thing that there’s a God who gets angry? If God is love, then it stands to reason that he would react strongly against acts and systems of hatred?
Paul wants us to know that the world is not always as it should be, and that God stands against wickedness. This is a good and encouraging thing. But he also wants to point out that there is no reason to do evil; to act as if there’s no God. Many of the people who embrace violence, greed and other kinds of evil do so because they have no sense of morality – no perception of being part of a bigger story than themselves. But Paul says that this simply makes no sense, and his reason might surprise you…
God is invisible, but his handiwork isn’t. Creation is all around us – and it’s magnificent and spectacular. Think of the most beautiful place you’ve ever been – or the most glorious sunset you’ve ever looked at – God made that, and part of the reason he lavished such incredible beauty into those amazing vistas is that by doing so we’d all realise that they are designed, not random. Think of the incredible complexity and beauty of any aspect of nature – from the human mind to the still-unexplored depths of the ocean – this is not simply the chance evolution of life and matter. God made it all, and he made it beautiful as a clue to his existence and to the kind of character he has.
God is creative, glorious, and loves to give lavish gifts to his children. That’s why the world and its inhabitants are so extraordinary, and that’s also why he gets angry when that all gets taken for granted.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord I thank you for the incredible beauty of your creation. I thank you for the way that you made me, and the planet that I get to live in. I pray that you would speak to me through your creation, and also remind me of the importance of caring for it. And help me not to be part of the systems and structures of corruption and sin that rightly arouse your anger. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
This is a little weather-dependent, but try to spend a little time out in nature today. Go for a walk in the park, or sit outside your house, and try not to take any other distractions with you. Spend some time with God in these moments, enjoying his creation, and enjoying being with him in it. Perhaps try to spend a little of the time in silence, and see what you notice, or even how God speaks to you in the quietness of nature.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!