We have heard words about suffering and faith, about the work of God in and through the church, from three perspectives: the individual (Peter), the universal (Jacob), and Christ (by Jeremiah). Now, we hear the church call out for God’s mercy in the name of Christ.
Every time the church gathers to pray words of thanksgiving and intercession, the concerns of our community and the world are gathered up and referred back to God. We ask, “Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.” Transformation is only possible through God’s power, and this is no different for forgiven sinners. We stand in constant need of Christ’s mercy. Through Christ, there is life, hope and a way.
This does mean passing from death to life, a challenge to our faith, as well as our bodies and minds. But the pure gospel and the sacraments, the Word in the church, are God’s responses to our prayers. These holy things reveal that we are taken into the very pattern of Christ’s own life. In other words, our greatest hope in times of trial and our present suffering is the revelation that creation was made for salvation, and nowhere else is this clearer than in the church.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, according to your Word. Fill all things with joy, for you come to save the world. Amen. — JCB