Jan. 21 reflection: Trust: Do not be afraid, believe

January 18-25, 2020 is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Each day this week we will publish a Bible reading, reflection and prayer on the theme of church unity.

If you would like to celebrate Unity Sunday in your congregation on Sunday, January 26, 2020, then see our worship resources posted here.

Acts 27:23-26

“For the last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we will have to run aground on some island.”


In the midst of the tempest Paul’s encouragement and hope contradicted the fear and despair of his fellow travellers. Our common call to be disciples of Jesus Christ entails being a sign of contradiction. In a world riven with anxieties, we are called to stand as witnesses to hope by placing our trust in God’s loving providence. Christian experience shows us that God writes straight on crooked lines, and we know, against all odds, we will not drown or be lost. Because God’s steadfast love endures for ever.


Almighty God,
our personal suffering leads us to cry out in pain
and we shrink in fear when we experience sickness, anxiety
or the death of loved ones.
Teach us to trust you.
May the churches we belong to be signs of your providential care.
Make us true disciples of your Son
who taught us to listen to your word
and to serve one another.
In confidence we ask this in the name of your Son,
and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.