Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Value beyond Culture and Race (Psalm 67)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Week 4: Human Beings—Not for Sale1

Week 4, Day 4

“Treatise on Good Works (1520),” Martin Luther 

We must offer resistance to all wrong, wherever truth or righteousness are violated and abused. We dare make no distinction of persons, as do some who fight most actively and busily against the wrong which is done to the rich, the mighty, or their own friends, but who are quite quiet and patient when wrong is done to the poor, or to those of low estate, or to their own enemy. These people see the name and the honor of God not as it is but through a colored glass. They measure truth and righteousness according to the persons, and are not aware that their eye, which looks more on the person than on the truth of the matter, deceives them. They are hypocrites under the skin and only appear to be defending the truth. They know quite well that there is no danger in helping the rich, the mighty, the learned, and one’s own friends. In turn, they can enjoy their help, and be protected and honored by them.

Value beyond Culture and Race (Psalm 67)

Angela Olotu, Lutheran, Tanzania

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, (Selah) that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. (Selah) Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him

This psalm is about the blessings, salvation and mercy that God bestows upon all human beings, regardless of their culture, gender, race, age and social and economic status. God desires and has the power to provide us with what is good and best for us.

God blesses and extends God’s mercy to everyone—the just and the unjust; believers and non-believers; the “good” and the “evil.” In God’s eyes all people are alike. Matthew 5:45 affirms this by saying “so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.”

The psalmist refers to the whole world and shows no preference for one specific ethnicity, creed, gender, sexuality, age or ability to praise God and to respond to God’s care, love and blessings. The way in which God acts, blesses, loves, cares and rules is beyond our comprehension, expectations and wishes.

Human beings are considered sacred and equal before God, because we are God’s people, created in God’s image and likeness. We have an inherent and immeasurable worth and dignity. The image of God in humanity is sometimes blurred. However, the unfolding of events in the history of humankind attests to the rebirth of God’s image in us. Examples of this are the efforts to end the slave trade and the apartheid regime.

Each and every person has great value; each and every person has the right to respect, justice, peace and freedom. Therefore, we have to acknowledge and practice the “value system of equality” by respecting, loving and valuing one another as equal human beings.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”