,

Let us…

In the first words of the Act of Consecration of Man a task is expressed that can stay with us for the rest of our life.  You can make a beginning with it when before the service you look around: with whom will we fulfill the Act of Consecration of Man?  Who are meant with the little word “us?”  Can I in some way take those present along in this great prayer?  That becomes more difficult when someone is present for whom we feel antipathy, or perhaps even worse than that.  But such a person also forms part of the Act of Consecration of Man.  Even for our enemies and for those who persecute us do we have the task to pray (Matthew 5:44).

In the course of the Act of Consecration the circle of the community with whom we pray opens out.  All Christians and all who have died may participate in the offering.  Whenever we feel together with a soul who has died, who offers with us on the other side of the threshold, we begin to experience that not only this one, but countless deceased souls want to participate in the altar service.  Even when a few people are praying, it may be “full” at the altar.  That is why the text of the Act of Consecration says: “… all who have died.”

In the last part the altar service opens itself once more for the word “us.”  The communion speaks not only about us the living, about Christians, and those who have died, but about the life of the world.  Eight times the word “world” sounds in this part.  The peace of Christ is meant for the life of the entire world.  The Act of Consecration of Man is so great that we can include everyone and everything in this prayer.  Christ does not want to redeem a small select group, but the whole world.  However, He cannot do this alone. Our Christian Community may in the coming century and centuries perhaps remain an insignificant small movement, but the Act of Consecration of Man can also in a community of a few persons grow to infinity.

Christ needs our prayer.  May the word “us” grow forever and encompass all—all who are present, all true Christians, all who have died, until eventually the world has become part of our prayer.  Thus we can help Him to bear and order the life of the world.

 

-Rv. Bastiaan Baan, October 2022

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