Devotional – August 4, 2004

Thus says the Word of God:

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look and see
if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
which was brought upon me,
which the LORD inflicted
on the day of his fierce anger.
“From on high he sent fire;
into my bones he made it descend;
he spread a net for my feet;
he turned me back;
he has left me stunned,
faint all the day long.

(Lamentations 1:12,13, ESV)

The recent Ykua Bolaños tragedy has shaken our community down to the core. For a lot of families and people, life will never be the same. So many loved ones, friends and family are tragically gone, having died burnt by the unforgiving flames of greed and lack of adequate prevention. For many, life has become an absurd joke, a burden, an unbearable pain not worth facing nor overcoming. For all those reasons it can be expected that many pepople would ask the question asked by the enemies of the sons of Korah: “Where is your God?” (Psalms 42:3,10).

Today we can experience in a tangible way how extreme is the tragedy of sin, which introduced pain and death into human existence. Today we see why sin in all its forms quickens the “fierce anger” of the Lord, and why humankind, all of us included, will never be able of even try to get right with God using our feeble efforts. But today we could also see God’s love and mercy in a tangible way in the commitment and struggle of several pastors, brothers and sisters of different congregations who freely gave themselves to offer spiritual help, counsel and support to so many bereaved or injured people; today we saw God’s love operating in the selfless help of so many firefighters, paramedics, and service personnel; we saw God’s love move through so many support gestures from many parts of our country and the whole world, freely given without asking anything in return.

But the most important thing is what the text is saying to us. God is not a merciless tyrant who looks from above to us as the master puppeteer. He knows the pain of so many mothers without their children, so many widows, so many children without their parents. God knows the sorrow which was brought upon us, because he was next to those who were gone and those who are suffering; and because He also saw his beloved Son Jesus die, a victim of the horror of the sins of all of us. But this is also our hope; because our Lord overcame the last foe to give us hope, and so that all this pain might be over one day, thrown away in the victory of God’s love.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Almighty and eternal God, who reconciled the world with you in Jesus Christ, out of love and for your glory: forgive our sins and send your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, so that all those stricken by grief may have the comfort that only faith in your Son Jesus Christ can give, and thus give witness of your love and mercy to this world which needs you so much. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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