Good morning! I hope you each had a sweet Valentine’s Day although for America, our hearts are heavy this morning with the news of yet another school shooting.
Our prayers are with all those who woke up this morning to the reality of this devastating act and also we pray for the family and friends of the shooter and the shame and guilt they will surely encounter as their lives have drastically changed. And we pray for him as well, because we are commanded to do so.
We pray for first responders and friends and family of all involved, for teachers and staff at the school and for the moms and dads and little ones who hugged extra hard this morning at the bus stop.
It is unthinkable and yet our news feeds are peppered daily with so much violence and hatred and cruelty and corruption.
This morning I am continuing my reading in the portion of the the Chronological Bible that covers the Laws and Regulations and such from portions of Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Numbers.
Having these all grouped together in this translation is helpful but still rather overwhelming.
And as long as I have been in Christ and His Church and as God has taught me of His heart in so many ways that bring me to trust that He is always good and kind and right and righteous…still my American born, post-modern laced mind cringes as I read the various laws.
I hear the voices of our culture’s talking heads in the back of my mind and I struggle with the methods of justice that I am reading through regarding slaves and aliens and offenses against the poor and women and I think of the outcry’s of political leaders and different special interest groups that would rise up against these passages and attempt to judge God as being unfair and oppressive.
But it strikes me this morning instead….how the laws really point to how evil we are.
The laws and the regulations given to Moses and the people of Israel are not really about God’s character but about how we must deal with our own sin nature. And what a myriad of ways there are that we choose to sin.
It is not God who created the issues that we must now decide how to discipline, correct, punish or gain restitution – it is our own problem of sinful bent that we refuse to accept as part of the fallen world.
We want to blame God for the fact that we choose to go our own way.
The human nature is one that is flawed by choice.
And God has provided a way to redeem our sorry selves from our selves.
Yesterday was not just Valentine’s Day, you know.
Yesterday we began the portion of our faith journey for 2018 that we call Lent.
Russ and I were touched by a newscaster on national network last night who gave her reports with the black mark of an ashen cross on her forehead.
A very visual reminder as she shared that she had gone at some point during the day to be reminded that she lives redeemed by the Cross of Jesus Christ. By His death and resurrection.
Each story she reported on, with the burned ashes of a palm branch from last year’s triumphal entry celebration at her church blotched across her artfully made up face, reminded us that we had no right to pass judgment on anyone.
For all have sinned and all have fallen short..but One.
And so we, as people of the Cross, begin our journey toward the celebration of Easter on the calendar this year, while we live every day celebrating the truth that He is Risen.
He is Risen indeed.