Author(s)Ellelein Kirk
Date 29 March 2023

Almighty God,

our unfailing helper and faithful guide;

keep us under the protection of your grace,

and give us a continual love for your holy name,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

“Life is not fair.” I am sure you have heard this phrase before. It is in fact a painful truth of our fallen world. It is the cry of anguish at the injustice that happens around us, and the reason why we need true hope and deliverance. This is why this collect is of great encouragement, as it points us to the One who can truly help, comfort, guide, and rescue us from the storms that will at some point cross our paths.

It appeals to the Almighty One, for whom nothing is too hard (Jeremiah 32:27) and whose steadfast love will never grow weary in aiding us. It points us to the Lord, whose promises to Abraham became truth as through grace we became part of a great and blessed nation (Genesis 12:1-2). It reminds our souls of adoption and of a love greater than what we could ever imagine. It spells out belonging and the ability to traverse life, and marvels at the paradox of joy and pain, because he is with us.

In our daily life we may encounter situations that are too difficult to navigate. We might be deeply hurt by a brother or sister; our teenagers might rebel and slam a door in our face. We might suffer the sudden loss of a loved one or need to make a decision that might affect the livelihood of those we care about. In any of those situations, when our fists may clench in anguish or tears may stream down our face, we can be certain that we are under “the protection of his grace.”

And as we live like that, the petition for a “continual love for his name” in the prayer, does not come as a surprise. Our souls are fickle and from time to time they seem to embrace a state of temporary amnesia that drives us to try to fix things our way. “Life is not fair” we say out loud and we hurry to dispense our justice. Yet, it is this reminder of our  dependance on God that stops us in our tracks. It makes us look to the One who laid down his life for us and has called us to do the same for our brothers and sisters, and to live not only by words but with actions and truth (1 John 3:18).

In living out the faith that has been granted to us by grace, we can also share the gospel with a world that otherwise might miss out on the feast our good Lord has prepared (Luke 14:16-24). We can preach the true hope of our Saviour as we long for a world without injustice and perfection by his side. We can hold on to the promise that his justice will come and be done in his perfect time. We can be amazed at the fact that by his grace we are forgiven, transformed and given his name. We can walk through the storms with the true assurance that he is by our side, not only waiting for us to cross the line, but helping us in and through our trials.

Life this side of eternity might not be fair. So pray this with me:

 

Almighty God,

our unfailing helper and faithful guide;

keep us under the protection of your grace,

and give us a continual love for your holy name,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.