“O God of Mercy, God of Light,”
O God of mercy, God of light,
in love and mercy infinite,
teach us, as ever in your sight,
to live our lives in you.
You sent your Son to die for all,
that our lost world might hear your call;
oh, hear us lest we stray and fall!
We rest our hope in you.
Teach us the lesson Jesus taught:
to feel for those his blood has bought,
that ev’ry deed and word and thought
may work a work for you.
For all are kindred, far and wide,
since Jesus Christ for all has died;
grant us the will, and grace provide,
to love them all in you.
In sickness, sorrow, want, or care,
may we each other’s burdens share;
may we, where help is needed, there
give help as though to you.
And may your Holy Spirit move
all those who live to live in love,
till you receive in heav’n above
all those who live in you.
Tribalism seeks to only know and love its own kind of people. It seems safe and secure. It imagines and promotes the idea that your family and country and outlook is best. You don’t have to stop, look and listen to a different voice, color or understanding of life when you stick only with “your own.” You don’t even have to acknowledge other traditions. You can even contribute to a subtle culture of hate that begins simply by joking within your own group about the strange ways of others. But such a heart- and mind-set can lead eventually to the formation of hate groups. Then violence raises its ugly head as the rhetoric ramps up in the relentless media all around us. Jesus is God’s antidote to tribalism and the sin that comes with it. Jesus is the incarnate God who comes to live with everyone, to love everyone and to mend us all together.
Lord Jesus, transform our hearts and mend us together into your one family, along with all of your creation. Amen.
Bishop Tom Aitken, ’85
Bishop of Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.