Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tonight's Weeknight Bible Study of the Biblical Background of 'The Small Catechism,' Part 16

3 Things I'm Praying for Today, September 24, 2020

I pray for many things. But here are three things I'm praying for today. I offer my prayers to God the Father in Jesus' name, as Jesus teaches His disciples to do.

1. I'm praying that God will send workers into the harvest. This means I'm asking God to send disciples of Jesus, whether in person or among their contacts on the Internet, with the good news of new and everlasting life with God for all who turn from sin (repent) and trust or believe in Jesus. People need Jesus more than ever, especially, it seems, in the Church, where Christians have become beguiled by politics and entertainment rather than drawing hope from its only source, the God revealed in the crucified and risen Jesus. (I offer this petition every day, by the way.)

2. I'm praying that governments all over the world will treat all people with justice and mercy. God identifies with and calls believers to care for the marginalized, the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the different, the "other," and the despised. I pray that call be heeded by governments charged by God to act justly.

3. I'm praying that all government leaders will have God's wisdom and the courage to act on that wisdom. With this, I pray that those leaders who refuse to hear or heed God's wisdom will be peacefully removed  by God from their positions of power.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Tonight's Weeknight Bible Study of the Biblical Background of 'The Small Catechism,' Part 15

Putting COVID-19 Death Numbers in Perspective

On the occasion of the 200,000th. American death from COVID-19, the Associated Press notes: “The number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 67 days.” That helps to put the impact of this pandemic in perspective. 

So do other facts.

Consider that 58,318 members of our US Armed Forces were killed in Vietnam from 1955, when American military advisers arrived in South Vietnam, until the end of the war. Remember, those of you who were living at the time, the impact that war had on our nation. Then compare that with the number of US COVID deaths in just seven months: 200,000 versus 58,318, in twenty-one years.

Skeptical of those numbers? Consider that the past five months have seen more deaths than in any other five-month period of US history. So, even if you think deaths attributed to COVID were not solely caused by the virus but by other factors as well, COVID appears to be the animating factor in this alarming increase in deaths. Unless you think that it's simply coincidence, a massive COVID coincidence.

Pray that the grieving will be comforted, that scientists will find safe and effective vaccines, and that God will teach us to love our neighbor.