…. in wrath may you remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2, NRSV)
Those who know me know that I almost never speak of God’s “wrath.” Too many people see God as an angry deity that stomps around in the heavens fuming, looking for people to punish. That isn’t who God is. However, God is also not a distant deity unaffected by our actions. He is not the “unmoved mover” of the ancient philosophers. As a God who loves, He can’t help but be angry at the ways we break His heart when we hurt one another, harm His creation, and refuse to live as the people He has created to be. His anger, unlike ours, is never petulant or vindictive, however. Like Habakkuk’s listeners about to go into exile, He may let us suffer the consequences of our own actions, but he will not abandon us and will never give up on us.
God of Grace and Glory, show us the distance between our actions and Your intentions, even if it hurts. In the midst of any painful self-knowledge, or even shame, let us know that you love us, forgive us, and are restoring us. Amen.
– Fr. Larry Parrish, St Thomas Episcopal Church