(26 January 2014, 25 Jan. 2015)
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth you right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Kings 6:14-23; Psalm 102:15-22; Romans 12:16-21; Matthew 8:1-13
This week’s epiphany of Christ is the manifestation of God’s mercy, as told by two stories of healing in the Gospel reading. Even the most vilest and helpless of physical conditions are not beyond God’s compassion, so we are assured that God will indeed hear the prayers of the destitute, as the Psalm also expresses. Thus, as Christians, we are called to do the same – to show mercy to those who are in need. This is true even for those who would be our enemies, exemplified in the Old Testament by Elisha’s compassion on the army that would have invaded his home city. In showing this mercy, we not only “heap burning coals on their heads,” as it’s put in the Epistle reading, but we also reflect the mercy of God to a hurting world.