Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

God is in Action (Genesis 1:1–5)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Sunday, 9 April 2017

Week 1: The Mission of God

The first Anglican-Lutheran Lenten Reflections of this collection open our Holy Week journey.

week 1, day 1 

“The General Thanksgiving,” The Book of Common Prayer

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men; [*particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them.] We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

God is in Action (Genesis 1:1–5)

Anna-Maria Klassen, Lutheran, Germany

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

According to the Bible, only God can create life: The Hebrew verb bara’ [create] is not used for human actions; this is a clear limitation and, at the same time, a relief for us. God bears the ultimate responsibility for God’s creation; therefore God does not leave God’s creatures on their own but cares for them like a parent and preserves them. God gives God’s children everything they need in “due season” (Ps 104:27). Believing in God the Creator means realizing “that none of us has life—or anything else that has been mentioned here or can be mentioned—from ourselves, nor can we by ourselves preserve any of them” and being thankful for the things God gives us day by day.

God sees that it is good. Can this description of God’s action really be framed in the present tense? Is creation good? Every day we watch and listen to news that appear to confirm that this world has been corrupted. Calling it “good” might even appear sarcastic. But calling it good can also signal that one does not stop believing in the potential that God planted in God’s creation which, no matter what, God holds on to and will be revealed one day. Believing in God the Creator means realizing that only God can see the bigger picture and hoping that this picture is and will be good in the end.

God calls God’s creatures by their names. God’s Word has the power to give God’s creatures life. To name something or someone means giving them an identity. Calling a person by name means recognizing their personality. Because God calls God’s creatures by their names God gives them dignity that cannot be annihilated by earthly powers. God says that God’s people belong to God in all their fragility. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isa 43:1). Believing in God the Creator means realizing that our dignity is founded in God’s action and being confident that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:39).

“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.”