Sunday, December 3, 2017
"Make Haste, O God!" - 3 December 2017
You who are the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, who has said: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57.15): we rejoice and give you our great thanks that, as we heard this morning, in Jesus Christ your only Son our Lord, heaven and earth have come together; the high and lifted One has come to dwell among us! Now hear our grateful prayers offered in concert with Psalm 70:
Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! Hear the groans and grief of those hurting through sickness, weakening bodies, sad hearts and desperate conditions…speedily deliver them and swiftly help them. Hear the cries and despair of those who are down and out, done in and destitute in our congregation, in our city, under our bridges, and around our neighborhoods, and make haste to help them.
Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! Let them turn back because of their shame who say, “Aha, Aha!” Take compassionate notice of our brothers and sisters who are being hunted down, hounded and harassed; to fortify their faith and deliver them from harm, just as you did for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Take compassionate notice of those being ground under the heel of jackbooted thuggery, racist violence, or judicial immorality. Take compassionate notice of those who are vulnerable and being viciously taken advantage of… Raise them up, free them, and bring justice to bear.
May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” Your church all around this big globe, along with this congregation and East Robison Baptist Church; Eastern Ave Baptist; Eastwood Baptist; and Ebenezer Baptist Church, declare “God is great!” Build up and fill out your church in holiness and humility. May she be a shelter for those coming in out of the storm. May she be a sanctuary for those in need of refuge. May she be a light to a dark world. May her fellowship and unity be a means of grace to a fragmented and fractured planet.
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay! Bring all nations and countries, to include the USA, along with Chad, Chile, China, and Colombia, to the humble recognition that we are all poor and needy before you. Bring all peoples to recognize the significance of all of us working toward the common good. Bring all nations and countries to actually see the plight of the refugees in their precincts, and to respond with mercy and care. And finally, preserve all of our borders and boundaries from being breached by banditos, bombers, drug-runners and desperados.
Our helper and deliverer, we ask all of this and more through Jesus Christ our sympathetic High Priest. Amen.