By Andy Rozendaal
Texts in view: Luke 13:1-9; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
“Thanks be to God.” We recite those words each week after the first and second lesson in response to the reader saying, “This is the Word of the Lord.” I chuckled a bit as I said these words this past Sunday because the scripture we had just heard was not one we would typically follow up with a recitation of our thanks to God. Lenten passages can sometimes drag us through rough places. It is easy to skim over or avoid the passages and read a much more uplifting narrative that offers practical and stimulating applications. It reminds us again that Lent is a time when we journey through tough lands in order to reach the empty tomb of Easter morning.
Bob urged us on Sunday to not take God for granted. It is easy to take the grace of God for granted and hold a false assurance or over confidence that we have it all together. Bob shared a story of one of the first sermons he preached. A man came up to him after the sermon and said, “Preacher, thanks for making us all feel bad.” The man said it in a way that made it seem like Bob’s sermon was a breath of fresh air or like we don’t have the full experience of God if we don’t walk away feeling bad about ourselves. We have moments when we feel bad but it is God's desire to take those moments to reassure us of his love. It is in those moments when God confronts our jealousy and pride which stops fellow humans from flourishing. In those moments we are reminded that confrontation is God’s love and mercy offered to us. When we face the consequences of our decisions, we can repent and live into the joy of what God has done for us on the cross.
God is willing to do everything possible to get our attention. He does not want us to live in ways that hurt others or ourselves. To continue down that road would make us miss out on the love God has for us. May we all realize when we face the consequences of our decisions we can repent and live into the joy of what God has done for us.