Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy… upon our world and country for healing grace.
Last night in our evening home devotions we meditated on Actsr 2:42ff and a reflection written by Henri Nouwen. We are using an older series of Lenten meditations and prayers as written by both Nouwen and C.S. Lewis. This devo focused upon the “intimacy and solidarity“ of humankind. It reminded me of the section in the explanation to Luther’s Catechism concerning the first article of the Apostles’ Creed. The question, number 96, is “Why is the First Person of the Trinity called ‘the Father’”? The answer is in part, “He is also the Father of all people because he created them. Strictly speaking, there is only one human race, because all human beings are equally the children of Adam and Eve and are equally redeemed by Christ.” One of the passages to support thatstatement is taken from Malachi chapter 2: “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?” In the devotion Nouwen put it this way, “We are brothers and sisters, not competitors or rivals.”
I personally found this devotion helpful because we are all considering our unmistakable interconnectedness in the midst of this contagion. My doctor sister, not given to hyperbole but more German-stoic by temperament, has cautioned that this pathogen is extremely contagious, so be careful. There’s much we don’t know about it that scientists are still trying to discover but certainly Ruth’s words are true. As people in this fallen world and as fallen people we are all susceptible to the results of sin in the world. And ironically we are acknowledging this interconnectedness by caring for each other through physical distancing. I recently read of a young man who insisted that his spring break partying wouldn’t be interrupted by coronavirus only to repent later of that foolish and selfish attitude. God is reminding us that he created us as one human race and Christ came to redeem all of us through his blood and righteousness.
And so it seems that God is pushing us to see all others as his created children whom he seeks in mercy and grace,
I Timothy 2: 4. Let us care for every soul in our safe practices at home, with loved ones and when we need to venture out for essential things. And may the Holy Spirit expand our intercessory prayers more and more to include people we are not familiar with but are one with through the created life given by our Father.
In the Name of the Father +Son and Holy Spirit. Amen