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An Only Child

An Only Child

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 – Proper 29, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 119:145-176 (morning) // 128, 129, 130 (evening)

Zechariah 12:1-10

Ephesians 1:3-14

Luke 19:1-10

At the end of today’s first reading from the prophet Zechariah, God does not promise peace and justice. Instead, God says, “I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication.” Soaked in this spirit, God’s people will “look on the one whom they have pierced,” and they will “mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”

That spirit of compassion and supplication is the sign of God’s presence with us. That spirit prompts us to see each of God’s children as God sees them: as victims of injustice, and as intensely beloved as any one child could possibly be.

What’s more, God’s love for his children is not as easy as the instinctual love for a pure-of-heart newborn that some parents experience. As our second reading reminds us, God’s love for us is an adoption. God’s love searches for us and chooses us. It is not prejudicial or bound by cultural preferences, such as for a firstborn. And it overcomes mistrust, uncertainty, and feelings of unworthiness.

Today, let us pray for a spirit of compassion and supplication, so we can mourn for the victims of injustice, both the named and the unknown, certain that they are claimed and loved by God as if they were his one and only child.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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