3,716 died today; spirits departed from this world while we prayed, “In wrath, remember mercy.” We speak as though to put God in remembrance of Himself. We talk as though a just God needs reminding that He is merciful, as well. But no. God’s attributes are always infinite and immutable. He does not change. He is forever merciful and just, gracious and good. He’s still as He has ever been, never laying aside one aspect for another.
3,716 died today, and it is we who need re-membering. Jesus never told us to pray that He would remember us, but instead, we are to remember Him. We who have dismembered Him from our lives, our churches, our world, and in doing so severed ourselves from the vine and our branch is withering. In our desperation, we need to re-member a holy God to ourselves – the Living, All-Powerful, Sovereign God, whose hand reaches out still. In our brokenness and frailty, in our inability and grief, we must welcome Him in His wholeness and strength, His power and wonder back into our world.
In repentance and communion, we invite Him in His fullness to consume our fear in His love and restore us to Himself. We cry aloud in awe of Him to revive us, our communities, our nation, our world, and once again release ourselves to become the work of His hand instead of our own. We pray He will make Himself known as we fall upon His mercy, and once more lead us out of darkness into His purifying light.
3,716 died today, and God is not unfeeling or impersonal. To us, it’s a global number, but to Him, it is many names. Names of those for whom He died. Names He greatly loved. And if we are to have His heart, ours must be rent ’til the number for us becomes a name.
Joel 2:12-13, “’Now, therefore,’ says the LORD, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’ So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.”