The two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others. For the vast majority of the 150,000 of us who live in the Bonneville and Madison Counties, we outwardly agree on this. Most of us would give lip service to the fact that we follow Jesus as our Savior and live out His example. But what have we been doing for the past four days in our counties? Loving God first because of the great love with which He first loved us? Then loving others by placing them before ourselves?
Unfortunately, our hearts have been a mess.
We need repentance. I need it. You need this. We all need to turn from ourselves to our Creator.
On the first day of each week, I desperately need to pray this with a humble heart of confession.
We confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole hearts; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Yes, we need to pray. We don’t pray because we think we can make it through our days without God’s help. Well, clearly, we are not doing well at all.
Jesus teaches us all to pray like this:
Our Father, who art in heaven [Please Lord, help us on daily basis not to forget this in the midst of our social isolation over the coronavirus, for certainly little of the news we watch declares this], hallowed be thy name [And no one else or any other thing which we so desperately cling to for help], thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven [Let this be the cry of our hearts]. Give us this day our daily bread [Teach us this because we have taken for granted your abundant excess in this land. We don’t know what it means in many ways to trust you for our daily bread]; and forgive us our trespasses (We have panicked, pushed, jockeyed for position, grasped in greed, jumped in front of others, stockpiled, and stolen in trying to save ourselves), as we forgive those who trespass against us (We have been so angry at others from those in national politics to some of the closest members within our own families and ignoring how much you have forgiven us for our fears, lusts, pride, selfishness, and disobedience); and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (Only you are the mighty Deliverer). For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
The way forward is Christ’s love in us and through us.