This week’s epistle reading in the Revised Common Lectionary speaks particularly to this weekend’s tragedy –
- First reading and Psalm
- Genesis 29:15-28
- Psalm 105:1-11, 45b or Psalm 128
- Alternate First reading and Psalm
- 1 Kings 3:5-12
- Psalm 119:129-136
- Second reading
- Romans 8:26-39
- Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
…for the whole creation is waiting with eagerness for the children of God to be revealed.
It was not for its own purposes that creation had frustration imposed on it, but for the purposes of him who imposed it- with the intention that the whole creation itself might be freed from its slavery to corruption and brought into the same glorious freedom as the children of God. (Rom 8:19-21 NJB)
And as well as this, the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words; and he who can see into all hearts knows what the Spirit means because the prayers that the Spirit makes for God’s holy people are always in accordance with the mind of God.
We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good. He decided beforehand who were the ones destined to be moulded to the pattern of his Son, so that he should be the eldest of many brothers; it was those so destined that he called; those that he called, he justified, and those that he has justified he has brought into glory. After saying this, what can we add? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Since he did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for the sake of all of us, then can we not expect that with him he will freely give us all his gifts? Who can bring any accusation against those that God has chosen? When God grants saving justice who can condemn? Are we not sure that it is Christ Jesus, who died — yes and more, who was raised from the dead and is at God’s right hand — and who is adding his plea for us?
Can anything cut us off from the love of Christ — can hardships or distress, or persecution, or lack of food and clothing, or threats or violence; as scripture says: For your sake we are being massacred all day long, treated as sheep to be slaughtered? No; we come through all these things triumphantly victorious, by the power of him who loved us. For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nothing already in existence and nothing still to come, nor any power, nor the heights nor the depths, nor any created thing whatever, will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:26-1 NJB)
I suppose that there is a danger of going to the bible as a forecaster or some sort of mediocre self help guide, but I don’t mean for it be presented as such. However, this passage should speak to us in the face of tragedy, personal, national, or international…