Monday of Christmas I – Prayer of the Week

O God, our Maker and Redeemer, You wonderfully created us and in the incarnation of Your Son yet more wondrously restored our human nature. Grant that we may ever be alive in Him who made Himself to be like us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

As I drove down the street not long ago, a young man came dancing out into the intersection, heedless of traffic and danger. The look on his face and irrationality of his actions confirmed that he was high on something, tripping to the chemicals which were dissolving his brain. My city is currently experiencing an epidemic, a self-inflicted epidemic of drug use and all the destruction it works on human lives.

We pray to the Lord who made us in the first place and who even more wondrously has restored our human nature through the incarnation of Christ. I admit that it is hard to see the humanity in those who have taken up lives which seem bestial, particularly when they snarl, utter their foul curses, and threaten me and those I love. They appear as animals to me. I need to guard my language and not refer to them as addicts as if addiction is all that one can say, or homeless, as if they are defined by their lack of housing. They too are people, made in the image of God and for whom my Lord Jesus has died. That image may be hard to see, but I cannot deny it is there. Jesus has taken up humanity to Himself, and we all share that same humanity.

For now, my fellow motorists and I stop until the dancing man, poorly dressed against the wind and cold, returns to the relative safety of the sidewalk. Thereby we acknowledge in some way his humanity. But we do not stop to help him. What can we do? He needs far more than the housing which some are calling for. He likely needs to be institutionalized, perhaps for the rest of his life. If that doesn’t happen, his life will be short indeed. Finally, however, he needs the same restoration of his humanity as I do.  Come, Lord Jesus. By your participation in our humanity grant that we live in you and live as you would have us live.

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