Thursday, August 2, 2007


1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices [presumably murders that squelched a rebellion at the Temple]. 2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:1-5)

I have friends who live in Minneapolis with their families. I don't know if they or any of their family was involved in yesterday's bridge collapse in which so many died or were severely injured. Situations like this beg the question, Where is God in a disaster like this? Isn't he supposedly in control? What manner of king is this Christ, who claims to be extending his rule and reign over all things in the universe? But that's not the question Jesus himself wants us to hear. He wants us to ask ourselves, "Have you repented? Are you going to embrace me, my reign, and my ways, or are you going to keep living your own way in disbelief?" If so, he warns, just as quickly as a tower collapsed or a highway bridge fell into the Mississippi River, so too will we be crushed under the weight of his fury.

All of the death, disorder, and tragedy in this world is the direct result of humanity's fall into sin. We can blame Adam all we want and shirk our own responsibility, but we forget one thing. We forget that we, too, sin every day as active participants of the rebellion that began that infamous day in Eden. Minneapolis is supposed to be a divine wake-up call, a backwards gift of God's patient mercy that says, "Get serious! Get off the path you're on! If you don't, I will kill you with a death far worse than drowning in a river, for I am a consuming fire."

I'm sure that this won't be the popular message in churches across American this Sunday. Most instead will probably preach some sort of heretical message about how this wasn't from God's hand (even insurance companies get it right by calling it an "act of God"); it was a random event incompatible with a loving God, instead of seeing God's love that slaps us in the face with events like this that call us repentance, and who has offered his very own Son to bear every last ounce of the wrath due to sinners, due to you and me.

1 comment:

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

You are so very right - and yet how few will see it that way - or even as a fallen creation continuing to fall as it groans for redemption under the weight of sin.

It so easily could have been two weeks ago when Olivia was crossing that bridge at least twice a day, every day. It seems almost wicked to be glad it wasnt' that week with her in a van of kids on it.