The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”
One of the most famous speeches from Shakespeare. Henry V on the eve of the battle of Agincourt in 1415. I can quote most of it from memory. This is because I watched the film version starring Kenneth Branagh. At the end of the battle, where the English have won, having slaughtered thousands of Frenchmen, Henry V orders that the Te Deum & the Non Nobis be sung – to thank God for the victory. The words and the tune I have memorised, and am singing as I write now.
The Non Nobis is a latin hymn, which starts with the first verse of Psalm 115:
1 Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
Now, I do not agree that the time to sing or pray these words is at the end of a battle where thousands have been slaughtered by an English army that really had no business being in France in the first place.
But, and it’s a big but – this is a prayer to pray or sing over and over again – at any point in our life when we are grateful or something has gone well, or we are tempted to be over-impressed with our own achievements. Not to us Lord, but to your name give glory.
And the reason we should do this? Because God, our God, the God of Psalm 115 is not like other gods:
3 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. 4 But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. 5 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.
There is a good reason to be praising Him, because he is working, is in heaven and can do so much.
12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us: he will bless his people Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, 13 he will bless those who fear the Lord – small and great alike. 14 May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children. 15 May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
So, let us remember, that in every moment, when we achieve, let’s offer the glory to the one who is the source of our blessing.