Monday of Advent 1 – Prayer of the Week

Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

A few years ago, my family and I made one of our rare outings to a theater to see a film on the big screen. My children wanted to see the recently released Godzilla movie. To get ready, I made them watch the original which was showing on Netflix. Both films are ridiculous. The stunt man in a rubber suit stomping on models in the initial version is laughably bad by modern filmmaking standards, but even the modern version was silly. We could not help but laughing at some points which I think annoyed the couple nearby who took their monster movies seriously.

I, in truth, for all its ridiculous premise and terrible special effects, rather like the original film from the 1950’s. That film was a reaction to the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities and the Lucky Dragon 5 incident in which a crew of Japanese fishermen were exposed to radiation from one of the U. S. nuclear bomb tests in the south pacific. Yes, the prehistoric monster which the nuclear age had awoken was a problem, but the real problem, the source of all this, was us and our hubris in imagining that we could control such forces.

We pray in this prayer not that God rescues us from some external threat, some monster which would devour us or some external force such as global warming, a receding economy, or even war. The threatening peril is our own sin, our own broken human nature. It will take God’s mighty deliverance to rescue us and so we urge God to stir up His power. Yes, Lord, come in might and destroy that old man of mine that the new man which You created in baptism may be seen.

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