Collect Meditation for the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany, Part II

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Earlier this week, we meditated upon how the Lord mercifully looks upon our infirmities. The second half of this prayer speaks of God stretching forth His right hand to help and defend us in all our dangers and necessities. In life, we face necessities or basic needs. These need to be met in order to survive and grow. Interspersed through our days of having our necessities met, we encounter dangers. In our fallen world filled with sinners, 100 percent of us, we will face dangers. When we face these situations with bravado, thinking solely in terms of self-help and self-defense, we will wear down into eventual exhaustion and defeat. We face temptations of making self-help and self-defense our household idols. This prayer speaks of God defending us in “all our dangers.” When we face danger as we all do, we are to seek God’s help and defense FIRST as our foundation. When we face dangers and resort first to self-help and self-defense as our foundation, with mere lip service to God, we place ourselves in the danger of sliding into idolatry. God defends us and helps us mightily, eternally. As Christians eternally helped and defended, we truly do not need to make the fear of what people can do to our bodies our primary concern as we often do in these matters. Rather, we place our lives in the hands of God to defend us with His right hand to do His will, knowing our lives are secured eternally through His assured promise of resurrection. Does this mean we are to be passive? No, it means we are not to place our sole faith and hope in helping self or defending self. We are to place our sole faith and hope in Jesus Christ.