WE beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~Collect for Passion Sunday
In the fifth week of Lent, commonly called Passiontide, we are reminded that we are God’s people. The Church was grafted into his covenant with the death and resurrection of Christ, bringing us into a deeper relationship with Him. As such, we ask that God would look mercifully upon us.
A Protestant teacher once warned to be very careful to ask for God’s justice, you may not like it. I think we often believe that we are far more righteous than we really are. What we really need is God’s mercy, far more than we may wish to admit. Pride is a funny thing, too often think we’re just fine as kind on our own, but this isn’t really the case. That or we fail to see the beam in our own eye and want to help our neighbor get that little speck out of his eye. So we struggle, hitting our friend with the beam jutting out of our eye, causing everyone involved pain, including our neighbor and ourselves.
We are always to start in a position of asking for mercy and go on from there. Mercy and thanksgiving are marks of the Christian life.
When we are in the weeds, feeling the world is unjust, feeling lonely and alone we often forget that God is good, that He will not allow His Children to flounder. So we thrash around. Yet God’s goodness is greater than we could imagine. I find myself coming back to this old praise song time and again:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
It is when we dwell in God’s goodness that we learn to be governed by him. Though our hearts may be rebellious, though we may struggle and flounder along the way, we turn back to him and pray that our hearts to be subdued to his will. We pray that we may be governed and preserved. To be guided by the Lord of heavens is a glorious thing isn’t? It is a good and beautiful thing to remember that he cares for all our needs.
As the Feast of the Resurrection approaches, let us learn to trust in Him fully to know that even though we pass through darkness and hardship, he cares for us more than words can express. Our God is a good and merciful God, our God is the father whom a prodigal son can always go running back to.