Mid-Week Devotion – May 13, 2020

By SMRUC_admin
May 30, 2020


Proverbs 17: 17 – 24 

17    A friend loves at all times,

    and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.

18    It is senseless to give a pledge,

    to become surety for a neighbor.

19    One who loves transgression loves strife;

    one who builds a high threshold invites broken bones.

20    The crooked of mind do not prosper,

    and the perverse of tongue fall into calamity.

21    The one who begets a fool gets trouble;

    the parent of a fool has no joy.

22    A cheerful heart is a good medicine,

    but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

23    The wicked accept a concealed bribe

    to pervert the ways of justice.

24    The discerning person looks to wisdom,

    but the eyes of a fool to the ends of the earth.


I will be honest I have struggled this past little while in seeing all of these protests for reopen society. It was easy to think that this was only happening in other places but then it happened right here and I realized that this idea that we need to get back to ‘normal’ is everywhere. I understand that this time has been difficult for many of us. There have been huge challenges that we have been forced to face and it is tiring. I know! But I also remember that we are all in this together, and together we need to get through this. The reading  from Proverb (which by the way is one of the named Wisdom Books of the bible) speaks to wisdom, but also speaks to community. We as a community can be brought together by adversity, just as much as we can be pulled apart, but it is in using wisdom that we can come through this time together. I would like to share the following with you. The first is a Jewish story about people on a boat. A person on the boat decides to dig through the floor of their cabin. Water flows in. The other passengers are angry. But it’s their own cabin, the person says, so why should it matter? The lesson is that personal choice only goes so far when we are all in the same boat. I think that this illustrates the need for us to be together in this time and come through this time together. The second story is more poignant. It is an interviewer speaking to a man and he asks, “ You prefer to save the economy knowing that some will die from it?

            “Yes I do,” was the response

            “How many dead do you consider acceptable to save the economy,” the interviewer asks.

            “ Mmmm…acceptable? Maybe between 70 and…..possibly 700,” was the reply

            “So 70, is that okay? Let us show you 70- people,” the interviewer states. From around the corner down the street comes 70 members of this individual’s family and friends.

            “It’s my family,” the man responds with surprise.

            “Now what is an acceptable number?” the interviewer asks.

            “Zero” says the man quietly. As the story ends the man’s little girl cries out ‘daddy’ and runs into her father’s arms. 

We are in this together. It is not about me. It is about all of us. It is about the person with the compromised immune system that lives next door, that you didn’t even know had a compromised immune system. As Christians was are called to look out for the ‘least of these’ and to know that together we can face this where alone it might be too challenging. So reach out to those around you. Build community in the midst of separation. Love from a distance, but remember that we are all in this together. So when we meet again, we are all together. 


God of great wisdom, help me to have the wisdom to know that this is not only about me, but rather about us. Help me to reach out in this time of isolation to those around me, building community so that we might all come through this time together. Help me to be wise and patient, to remember your call to keep in heart, and mind, the least of these so that we might all be together again sometime soon. We offer our prayers up to you in the name of one who came to be with us, your son, Jesus. Amen.

Patrick Woodbeck


Windsor Park United Church

Winnipeg, Manitoba



“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai