One of my college professors, James Stuart, has written: “Every society, in order to be effective and to survive, must be able to meet most of the needs of its members… [S]uch institutional factors as unemployment, economic inequalities, rising crime rates, loss of credibility, poor services and poverty can lead to deep and disruptive social problems which will undermine not only personal health but also social health. A society that experiences a crisis in a number of these institutional areas at one time is in serious danger of fragmenting to a point where it can no longer function in any meaningful way.” (13) We are experiencing that kind of crisis today!
Let us continue to look to the Lord, who did signs and wonders in Egypt long ago, for healing and for guidance.
Gracious God, we give thanks for the chance to study Scripture. We give thanks for health. We ask you for healing for those who are sick, either with COVID-19 or some other illness. We ask you for healing for our blindness toward the needs of others. We pray for ourselves, for our families, and for our nation and other nations during these difficult times. We ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1 W. Gunther Plaut, ed., The Torah: A Modern Commentary (New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981), 430-431.
2 The Torah, 431.
3 The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 2, D-G, (New York, Doubleday, 1992), 377.
4 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, Vol. 2, Second Half-Volume (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1957), 220.
5 The Torah, 1391.
6 John Wesley’s sermon “The Cause and Cure of Earthquakes”: http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-sermons-of-john-wesley-1872-edition/sermon-129-the-cause-and-cure-of-earthquakes/ Accessed June 15, 2020.
7 Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, https://utmost.org/intercessory-prayer/ Accessed June 22, 2020.
8 Aaron Williams and Adrian Bianco, “How the coronavirus exposed health disparities in communities of color.” The Washington Post, updated May 26, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/investigations/coronavirus-race-data-map/ Accessed June 12, 2020. Christine Ro, “Coronavirus: Why some racial groups are more vulnerable.” BBC.com, 20th April, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200420-coronavirus-why-some-racial-groups-are-more-vulnerable Accessed June 12, 2020.
9 Eric Mount, Jr., Covenant, Community, and the Common Good: An Interpretation of Christian Ethics (Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press, 1999), 32-33.
10 R. E. Nixon, "The Exodus in the New Testament," originally published by the Tyndale Press: http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/exodus_nixon.pdf Accessed June 20, 2020.
11 N. T. Wright, "The Letter to the Romans," The New Interpreter's Bible, vol. 10 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002), 585, also 510-511.
12 NRSV Harper Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991), 274.
13 James Stuart, Making Meaning, Finding Health (Wellington, New Zealand: St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion & Society, 1999), 50-51.