Date: Tuesday, March 7
Contributor: Kathy Hagan
Collect: O God, you willed to redeem us from all iniquity by your Son: Deliver us when we are tempted to regard sin without abhorrence and let the virtue of his passion come between us and our mortal enemy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
One text states that the Hebrew word for sin, het, translated literally means ‘miss the mark’. The Oxford American Dictionary defines iniquity, in part, as ‘gross injustice.’
Delving more deeply into the collect and the rest of the liturgy for this day, I think about the incredible injustices we see around us in the world and in our own community. And I reflect on how I ‘miss the mark’.
A friend told me of her neighbor, an immigrant, who as a 10-year-old child started a daily journey at 4 am to fetch water for her family. The trip took nearly two hours each way and then the water had to be boiled before being used. She faced many horrendous situations in her home country. As a young woman she traveled through great peril to find safety here and now strives to learn a new language, a new culture, while struggling to help her children face those same challenges.
As I witness the way in which my friend respectfully assists this family, I am aware of how I have missed the mark. As I work through what I perceive to be my own challenges, I forget the basic, foundational commandments of loving God with all our heart, soul and mind and of loving our neighbors as ourselves. I am reminded that I have the ability and the responsibility to clearly and fully observe the world around me including those in my own community. Not only observe them but to be an active participant in loving them as I love myself. I can take steps large and small to witness those around me, to respectfully acknowledge and assist, to advocate for change and to talk about the challenges they face with others. I am grateful that God allows us to reflect, learn, to grow, and to ask for her help each day as we strive to not miss the mark.