For this year’s Lenten Guide, each member of the Council staff chose a verse from a favorite hymn to write about. We will post their reflections throughout Lent, for Ash Wednesday, each Sunday and throughout Holy Week.
Remember, Lord, though frail we be,
in your own image were we made;
help us, lest in anxiety,
we cause your Name to be betrayed.
“Now Let Us All with One Accord” — Hymnal 1982 (Episcopal Church), #146
I often wonder how different our body politic would be if everyone – everyone – were truly viewed as the equally beloved child of God that they are. If we saw the image of God in every other human being. Can you imagine?
Would we pursue health care systems that could leave some, quite literally, to die?
Would we consider budgets that would portion from among all of us those to be cold, hungry, jobless, and isolated, exposed to the dirtiest air and poisoned water?
Would we establish laws that deliberately diminish people based on the color of their skin, whom they loved, where they came from, or their gender identity?
Would we make decisions directly impacting more than half our population without any of them in the room?
If we are all recognized as beloved children of God and created in God’s image, then we minimize one another at the peril of minimizing our Creator. Surely faithful people would make choices and decisions based on how they impact our sisters and brothers who are our equals and reflections of the most High.
Instead, too many of our leaders see anyone who doesn’t resemble them as a threat – whether physically, morally, or economically. Their anxiety, even if they claim Christ, is profound. Somehow, someone might take more than is “deserved.” Bluntly, that someone might cost more than they’re worth in the eyes of those consumed with accumulating power rather than committed to serving with compassion. That is betrayal.
For those of us who do believe that we all share a common worthiness as beloved children of a just and benevolent God, the responsibilities are clear. We must personally, actively live out that recognition. The decisions of our daily lives must reflect that. And we are also called, as never before, to make sure those in power do not swamp us with their anxiety but are challenged to make decisions based in the worth of every human being.