Thursday, September 23, 2010

My daughter, Natalie, says I am a “melancholy” personality type. I’m not a very good one, though. A good melancholy chap sorts his socks weekly and files his trash in alphabetical order!

I think she means that I have a strong sense of justice and fairness. I hate it when people don’t play by the rules. And, yes, I like order. Clutter drives me up a wall!

A really melancholy librarian would be one who, when she finally got all the books on the shelves in their proper order, wouldn’t really want anyone to check one out!

I detest seeing burly NFL linemen, who have played football for twenty years, get tagged for holding! It costs their team a ten yard penalty, sometimes bringing back a play that either scored or picked up big yardage. It’s crazy! Why would they cheat? There’s only a ba-zillon people watching by television and five or six trained referees a few feet away. But, they are JUST SURE no one will see them hold the other guy by the jersey!

All of that to set you up for this: What about the injustices in the world?

A Tampa policeman gets a call on his cell phone. His replacement is coming in early. He smiles, hoots, and jumps in his cruiser to go home. A few blocks away he collides with an eighteen wheeler and is killed instantly. It takes hours to extricate his vehicle (and body) from under the heavy truck. Anything fair about that? Was it just human error, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, fate, or was God punishing him for some sin?

Some people came up to Jesus one day and, with very serious looks on their faces, shared with him that Pilate had “mingled the blood of some Galileans with their sacrifices.” Since Jesus lived most of his earthly life in Galilee, I guess they thought he would look shocked and pound his fist on the ground. Maybe round up some “burly NFL linemen” types and go clean Pilate’s clock. Start, in other words, a revolution against big Rome.

They didn’t know Jesus very well.

His answer was what was shocking. Those Galileans were NOT super sinners. God wasn’t punishing anybody. “Unless you repent, Jesus said, “you too will ALL likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) What did he mean by that? He says it again in a few verses.

What in the Sam Hill is the relationship between repentance and random tragedies?

Why is repentance so crucial in Christ’s thinking?

Is repentance a one-time-thing? Or, a minute-by-minute reality?

Come Sunday and find out!
Love you,
Dan

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