Tuesday Tea-ology is here, about the grace and compassion of God.
Psalm 65 begins extolling the kindness and mercy of the Lord: “Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions” (Psalm 65:1-3, NIV). God is loving to the undeserving, gracious and good. We can look to Him in our need.
Indeed, He is our only hope. We are confronted with dangers and uncertainty, and we cannot save ourselves. Where should we look for hope, for forgiveness, for life?
“You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas” (v.5). God is able to save, to heal, to forgive. When situations seem beyond help, God is able. When all others fail us, God is able. In the depths of our sin, God is able to lift us up in His mercy. Let us remember that we serve the Almighty God. He is strong to deliver anyone who looks to Him. He is “the hope of all the ends of the earth.” He is our hope, and we can trust Him.
Well, a lot has happened since my last blog post.
As a word of explanation, my family has undergone a major transition: new town, new home, new church. All of this has been wonderful, but it’s remarkable how much things have changed in the past couple of months.
Of course, this coincides with a major transition our whole nation and our whole world has been going through. The coronavirus pandemic has brought horrible death and suffering, and dealt an economic blow to people’s livelihoods that will perhaps not be fully realized until this is over.
On top of that, our nation has been grappling with the evil of our long legacy of racism, and the dark consequences of that, which show up in a number of ways. The horrible injustice done to George Floyd has led to unrest and destruction that will surely increase the suffering of the poor in these communities. If this, too, is a transition, we cannot see from here what the end result will be.
May God have mercy on us. May He, the great Healer, lift our world out of the grip of this disease. May He, the great Reconciler, grant us the mercy of repentance, reconciliation, justice, peace, and a brighter future to come. May He, the Lord of life, stir revival in our nation so that we will have His love for one another.
May He turn this dark transition to our transformation.
I bless you, God Most High, for this day to declare your glory and the resurrection hope. Wonderful you are, and wonderful are your works for our redemption. Thank you for the love that sent your Son to the cross; thank you for the power that raised our Lord from the tomb. For your mercy and kindness, your majesty and strength, be forever praised, God Most High—Amen.
Praise be to the Author of Life, in the new days of Easter. Days rainy, days sunny, you bring forth the bloom in its yearly parable of resurrection. Be glorified, Lord of light and wind and water. Be glorified, Lord of life and warmth and joy. Be glorified, blessed Triune Redeemer: Father Eternal, Spirit of Mercy, Victorious Son. Be praised and glorified now and forever—Amen.
In the hour when darkness reigns, you still are Lord of all, majestic Son of God. Only your self-restraint, only your unfailing love, allowed the suffering you endured for us. For us you bore the blows and the mockery; for us you stood before the tribunals of men and were slandered and maligned. Matchless is your mercy, great God and Savior. Be glorified in the objects of your mercy today.
Merciful God, thank you for your love unending, unstoppable, unfathomable. Sending Father, empowering Spirit, faithful Son, thank you for the gift of life. Lord Christ, you did not resist laying down your life for us, but willingly turned yourself over to death; how masterful you were when they came to arrest you, how righteous when they slandered you, how merciful in your love. Have mercy on us—Amen.
God of all kindness, look mercifully upon us. You are strong! Carry us, in your almighty strength. When we are tempted, teach us to lift our eyes to the cross, to remember your unflagging endurance and your invincible love. Shield us from doubt, sin, and all things that stand opposed to your holiness and the worship that is your due—Amen.
In all our sufferings, Lord, you understand. You were hungry and tired, hated and slandered, doubted and denied and betrayed. God of sympathy, God-sent God who shared our sorrows, let us look to you for strength and hope. You were betrayed, yet you are unfailingly faithful. Faithful One on whom we lean, be glorified in your mercy and might, now and forever—Amen.