News of the devasting earthquakes in Turkey and Syria adds yet one more burden to our cares and concerns for this broken and divided world: wars and rumours of wars; civil strife; flood and famine, pandemic and earthquake; the soaring number of overdose-related deaths in our Province, coupled with the lack of adequate housing; the rich becoming richer and the poor poorer . . . The list could go on.
It is difficult not to be overwhelmed. How are we to respond? What difference can we make? Where is God in all of this?
Timothy Rees, a Welsh bishop in the last century, was convinced that God was not aloof from the creation, but in Christ was part of it. God, the God of Love, is inextricably linked in love with all that God has made, in its joys and triumphs, and in its pain and desolation. I have chosen Rees’ hymn “God is Love, let heaven adore him” for our Reflection this week. I find it helpful when things seem to be just too much.
Listening to this week’s news, I was drawn to these words:
“And when human hearts are breaking
under sorrow’s iron rod,
then we find that selfsame aching
deep within the heart of God.”
As we lift up our hearts to the Lord in prayer, and especially in the Eucharist, we bear on them the suffering and burden of the world, and those situations and people for whom we have a particular concern, presenting them in Christ to the Father, for healing, strength and blessing.
This does not excuse us from action, doing something practical, eg. donating to relief agencies or signing petitions for justice, themselves authentic responses to crisis, but enfolds us and these dreadful situations in the embrace of God’s love.
As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to reflect the light and love of God in the place we find ourselves today, to be signs of God’s kingdom breaking into the world.
God who is Love, the God who sustains in love all creation, sharing in its suffering and in its joys, will not fail or forsake us:
“Sin and death and hell shall never
o’er us final triumph gain;
God is Love, so Love for ever
o’er the universe must reign.”
Download the Sunday service booklet here: 2 Liturgy at Home Epiphany 6 February 12 2023