2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; *
my hands were stretched out by night and did not tire;
I refused to be comforted.
3 I think of God, I am restless, *
I ponder, and my spirit faints.
4 You will not let my eyelids close; *
I am troubled and I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old; *
I remember the years long past;
6 I commune with my heart in the night; *
I ponder and search my mind.
7 Will the Lord cast me off for ever? *
will he no more show his favour?
8 Has his loving-kindness come to an end for ever? *
has his promise failed for evermore?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? *
has he, in his anger, withheld his compassion?
10 And I said, ”My grief is this: *
the right hand of the Most High has lost its power.”
11 I will remember the works of the Lord, *
and call to mind your wonders of old time.
12 I will meditate on all your acts *
and ponder your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy; *
who is so great a god as our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders *
and have declared your power among the peoples.
And yet we are called as Christians to respond to those in need – not just those who are friends and neighbours but to those who we do not see as our neighbours. This of course if the challenge that Jesus gave to the lawyer who asked who is my neighbour? The response was the example shown by not the priest or the Levite but the example shown by the despised Samaritan.
Our neighbours are not just the Anglicans in Goderich or Roman Catholics or Presbyterians or United Church members or even Christians but all who are affected by disasters and other afflictions. They are not just whose in Goderich - although today they are particularly our neighbours - but all who are in need whether they show us a face that reflects ours and is cute and sympathetic or looks strange and unappealing. Jesus has shown us that all the world is our neighbour and we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. Let us pray
Oh, God Heavenly Father and Lover of All
In faith we acknowledge your care for all you creation; your sons, daughters and children. In hope we trust in your divine providence of giving us wisdom and courage as we face the challenges in life. In love we invoke your help and guidance during these difficult days of death and destruction in Goderich and all places where natural disasters wreaked havoc.
Our is a prayer of thanksgiving for once again reminding us that ours is an imperfect world, that heaven is not on earth and that nature tells us once again that we are not in control. Ours too is a prayer of repentance for calling upon you when we are in need and desperation but forgetting you in favourable times and pleasing occasions. Ours as well is a prayer of petition as we say:
Grant eternal peace to those who lost their lives. Help those who are injured and heal those who are sick in body mind or soul.
Encourage those who suffer the destruction of their homes and properties, and to once again arise and rebuild their future.
Bless all those who extend their helping hands to those in need of food, shelter and clothing, who share their time, talents and resources with others.
Inspire more people to be neighbours to all in need, convinced that the more they are for others, the more they are for you.
Spare us from other natural disasters and devastations if this be according to Your will and for our own spiritual good.