Choose repentance, not explanation

19 Jan

While I was doing the Luke Experiment where I read one chapter a day from Luke, there was an earthquake in Haiti on January 12. The next day, January 13,  I was reading Luke 13.

In Luke 13:1-5, Jesus responds to a local media report. Apparently, devout worshipers were burning chopped up animal pieces on the grill of an altar. Then Terrorist-Governor Pilate butchered the people who were offering the sacrifices,  and tossed their bodies onto the grill. How horrible!

Jesus asked, “Were these Galileans more wicked than all of you?”

Jesus answered, “No way! But if you do not repent, you too may suffer a violent death.”

Then Jesus referred to another media report. The Tower of Siloam in Jerusalem tell, crushing 18 victims. Maybe it was an earthquake. Maybe the tower collapse was result of shoddy construction. Who knows?

Jesus asked a second question, “Where the people who got crushed more sinful than all of you?”

Jesus answered, “Read my lips. No way! But unless you change your lives and repent, you too may die a senseless death.”

I hear Jesus saying, “Choose repentance, not explanation.” In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, it is tempting to seek an “divine explanation” for why already impoverished, struggled Haitians had to die like that. Instead of offering an “explanation,” Jesus invites us to a better Way of life.

Right now, the people of Haiti seem to be experiencing slim evidence of God’s love. Jesus says, “I am calling you, my church, to be the evidence of my love for them.”

I encourage you to be as generous as you can, contributing to Lutheran World Relief and the ELCA World Hunger Appeal, as they respond to the immediate emergency and plan for the longer term assistance of rebuilding.

In Christ’s Peace, Tim

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