Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 22

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Ice On Reeds, the Start of Freeze Up.

As Sure as the Lake Will Freeze Over in Fall,

So Will the Season of Christ’s Light Come.

Let it be soon, God.

Psalm 39:6

Surely everyone goes about like a shadow. Surely they are in turmoil for nothing; they heap up, and do not know who will gather.

2 Timothy 1:10

This grace [which saves us and gives us a holy calling] was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Words of Grace For Today

The world’s way of living is to try to make something from nothing, to have more for oneself. It is a turmoil like no other, yet no one can know who will get to gather in the rewards for all our striving to make something for nothing. Few of us reap the rewards of our efforts. Some reap the rewards of many others, and claim it is their right. It is not. Most of us give up great effort and see no reward at all.

Only those who labour for Christ are rewarded for their efforts, not with the heaps gathered in by others or by themselves. Rather we who labour for Christ receive first the reward for Jesus’ sacrifice, and then we live dedicated to following Christ’s will for us and others.

This is a holy calling. We no longer lives as a shadow, as part human, part darkness, outlined only by a brighter light. We live as the beings God created us to be, full, embodied, clearly seen in the light, solid even in the darkness of any kind, especially that of evil.

When one toils in order to have enough to provide the basics of life to oneself and one’s family, one can see no end of toil. For there is never enough for oneself and one’s own. When one toils in order to have the basics of life for oneself and one’s own … and for all those around in need, then there is always enough … enough for life that is worth living.

Yesterday I stopped at Walmart to pick up the four grocery items I need to deal with GERDS, for which I hope I have enough money since the gift card I was given had less than a dollar on it.

Done the first isle following the assigned directions to maintain physical distancing, I came face to face with two grocery carts. I stopped and waited for the people behind the carts to place in the rather full carts what they were looking for on the shelves. Then the proceeded to come further down the isle the wrong way towards me. I asked them to turn around, that they were going the wrong way. The first of the two carts instead turned to the side of the isle to try to force his way past me. I turned my cart to the side two inches to close the gap and he rammed my cart. I asked again.

With cursing the two cart drivers turned around, and a third man with them, starting verbally abusing me, threatening me to find me in the parking lot. As I continued with my shopping he continued to yell abuse at me from the next isle, from 20 and 50 feet away. I looked for staff. There were none to be found.

I headed for the checkouts, and while I was trying to deal with the 0 value gift card, the verbal abuse and threats started up again as the group joined the que to the checkouts. I yelled for security, afraid for my life, that this guy might actually follow me out into the parking lot!

Security came, or was it the manager. He was questioned. My credit card transaction was held up as they pulled my id. Finally I was allowed to exit the entrance doors to distance me from this guy.

If I could toil for this guy and the guy in a vehicle going 110kph passed me on my bicycle on the right, on the shoulder of highway 55, … If I could toil for these guys to not be idiots, not put my life at risk with their frustration that things are not going their way, how would that look?

I’m at a loss what to do for idiots, and many more others of so many kinds, who breach the social contract we have, which holds the barbaric nature of humanity at bay with such a thin veneer of civility. That thin veneer suffers attacks everyday, and its amazing that it still holds. If we are not careful, if we are not all careful, it will dissolve all too soon.

Then toiling for the basics of life will be an impossibility for us all, idiots, liars, deceivers, even for former holders of great authority, and also for us saints with a holy calling.

Pray that the Light of Christ will shine soon into the darkness that has descended on these lands and on these people,s here and across the globe, so notable as it is just south of the border.

The Light will expose the evil done, burning it up like chaff, as it finally abolishes death and brings life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Soon and Very Soon, we pray; Come and Deliver us, all. We are ALL in this together.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 21

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Leaves Fallen, Dead.

When Everything Appears to be Dead,

and We Are at Our Wits Ends …

1 Kings 19:5-8

Then Elijah lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, ‘Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.’ He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.

2 Corinthians 4:7

We have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.

Words of Grace For Today

Elijah is on the run, for his life. He has killed the prophets of Baal. In response Jezebel is out for revenge. So Elijah is on the run for his life.

Elijah is distraught and prays that God will let him die, for he has become no better than his ancestors who killed to try to make the world a better place … which never works. In the wilderness he lays down under a solitary broom tree.

An angel visits him while he is sleeping, and feeds him, twice, so that when Elijah wakes he has strength for the days ahead. For God has many things for Elijah to do before Elijah’s days on earth are completed.

There are days in most people’s lives where one has to think that exterminating that person or those people will somehow help the world be a better place. God save us from ever allowing those reactions to evil to be more than fleeting. God has other plans for evil people. God chooses to save them by forgiving them, redeeming them, and making them holy, agents of God’s will on earth. This is the double victory that Martin Luther King Jr. preached about attaining through non-violent protests.

Sweet such victory is, indeed.

It is nothing less than we could wish for all evil people. We would, especially I would, want God’s timetable to be moved up a bit, all the way to NOW, so that these evil people, doing these evil things, do not end up ruining us (too late for that for me) and eventually killing us (that’s sitting not too far on the horizon for me, just past a few -30 days after the medicine runs out and I cannot afford to get it refilled, the pain from GERDS disrupts every day functioning and cancer follows soon thereafter, if the reckless, angry drivers do not run me over on my bike as I peddle 25 km to town to get food, if my ex’s lawyer or the RCMP or even the Courts do not come up with yet another way to try to get me killed – never to do it directly, but to set it up so that someone else does the dirty work for them.)

Maybe my time on earth is up and God does not have any more work for this saint to accomplish. I rather think and hope not. Sweet rest it will be, when that day comes, but I think and hope it is not for many years yet … even though circumstances and enemies seem to want it otherwise … and soon.

Ah, that the human was not so susceptible to doing evil to others, and I could count on goodness, kindness and protection from the woman who pursued me, said she loved me, wanted me to provide for the children and for her, and promised to marry me; or from those who work to ‘protect and serve’ whose job it is to protect people from others’ crimes and lies; or at least from the Courts who are tasked with protecting the thin veneer of civilization from attack by criminals, deceivers, and liars. But no, not these or many, many others.

Only God’s miracles can save me from the evil from them directed at me … determined as they are to bear false witness against me to create a false story that I were a criminal, that I have not honoured the Courts, that I were not a good parent, that I were not an honest and kind person. Only God can save me, so come God, take your double victory soon, before it is too late.

What fragile vessels God created us to be. We humans think we are so important, so capable, so righteously rulers of our own destiny. In the universe God created we are but small, so limited, so incapable of ruling or creating destinies at all. We are so capable of wreaking havoc on others and the universe, but when it comes to good we wish well and do little to nothing.

Only God through Grace can bring us to do anything significant and good in the universe.

Thankfully God does just that: God saves us and them by forgiving us and them, redeeming us and them, and making us and them holy, agents of God’s will on earth.

When we think we have nothing more good to give, God sends angels of many kinds, in human form, or as other holy people, to feed us the bread of life, to give us the living water to drink. So strengthened we are able to continue God’s work in the days we have on this earth.

What a wondrous life it is, doing God’s will.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 20

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

When the Courts take everything ensuring your death, though you’ve done nothing wrong, the social contract disintegrates … further.

When Someone is peels away your protection from harm,

is it evil or good?

It is evil … and it is God’s blessing.

Ecclesiastes 7:14

On the day of prosperity be joyful, and on the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that will come after them.

Romans 8:28

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Words of Grace For Today

There are all sorts of explanations for why evil exists.

Prosperity is easy for humans to explain; we worked hard for our success and deserve the privilege and comforts afforded by our prosperity.

Adversity is also easy for humans to explain, as long as it is not their own adversity; they did not work hard but were lazy, or made mistakes because they were not smart, or were corrupt (like everyone else) and got caught, or took risks and had bad luck and were caught out … or … and on go the explanations.

Neither are right, necessarily nor primarily, nor are sufficiently correct to stand long on their own. The beginning of the real explanation for prosperity is that God blesses creation with some success. The beginning of the real explanation for adversity is that God blesses creation with some failure.

From there, why we and others enjoy prosperity or adversity, is a complicated mix of circumstances of time and environment and agency – a bit of our own, but mostly others’ agency.

Ecclesiastes’ explanation is interesting: God makes prosperity and adversity so that we do not know what will come in the future. That may well be. It teaches us that ONLY God can be trusted, not adversity (for example of our enemies) nor prosperity.

Paul in many and various ways points us to rely on God alone. Here he provides the reassurance that all things work for good … (which is blatantly not true, but he qualifies it with) for those who love God. Which is blatantly not true, for example all the martyrs through the generations, and all those Christians who have suffered at the cruel hands of others.

Paul is right though in a more profound sense: while the circumstances and suffering of our lives may not seem like they are worked out for good, ours or anyone else’s, God works in marvellous ways to bring blessings from evil. In the end God always will win, and therefore even when we suffer not, God will bring good out of it for us and for all others. In this way Paul is most certainly right. God works all things for good! for everyone.

Even our most evil, cruel enemies.

God is creator and always the victor. We are blessed to be God’s children, adopted by the sacrifice of Jesus.

There is a story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbours came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “May be,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbours exclaimed. “May be,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbours again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “May be,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbours congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “May be,” said the farmer.

We can answer with the farmer, “Maybe.” With Christ we can answer to both prosperity and adversity: “It is God’s blessings, no maybe about it.”

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 19

Monday, October 19, 2020

Out there … Alone.

Whether it seems we stand alone, like the tree, or the ice house, where everyone passes us by, or turns far away from us,

God created us all,

and we are ALL in this together!

Psalm 146:7

Who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry? The Lord sets the prisoners free.

John 8:36

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Words of Grace For Today

Who executes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, and sets the prisoners free?

We should all do this each day!

Do we? Not many and not much! We leave this to God to do.

Who frees humans from their captivity, the real captivity that robs life from us, the captivity to sin (to turn away from God and try to make our way in life on our own, almost always at other people’s expense … so that people are oppressed by our efforts to get ahead in life, so that people go hungry while we are well fed and live in superfluous comfort, so that people are imprisoned for telling the truth as we lie in order to gain and retain our ill-gotten privileges and wealth!

Yes! Who executes justice, feeds the hungry and sets prisoners free when we are the oppressors, the one’s who take away food, and lie to have people imprisoned?

We leave it to God!

And God’s people step forward to undo the injustice, hunger, and falsely imprisonment that we cause … and ignore … or worse, celebrate, as if the one’s we’ve done these atrocities to are our enemies.

They are not. They are God’s people, on this sojourney in life with us.

Thanks be to God, God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, came to live, heal, forgive, die, and be resurrected that we might know God chooses to free us from our captivity to sin.

The Son frees us, and we are free indeed!

Free to be the one’s to bring true justice to the oppressed so no one need fear their neighbour or the authorities’ bullying, false arrests, and robbing of life; to feed the hungry so no one is hungry or without the basic necessities of life; and to set the prisoners free so that no one is falsely convicted or falsely imprisoned, and more …

so that all people will know that God’s Son has set us all free from captivity to sin … we can trust that God will bring out of us all the goodness that God created us and all of creation to be.

That’s such a fundamental revolution in the way people think, speak and write, and act that so many people resist this freedom.

And the injustice, hunger for daily bread, and false imprisonments continue and even increase.

It is no solution to turn on (and try to exterminate like the pests they are) the bullies, the oppressors, those who take, deprive others of, and hoard the daily food available in creation, and those who hold others in prison cells or poverty in a reserve or in a land distant and separate. Others will only replace those who are exterminated, and those who exterminated others simply become the oppressors.

God wants a victory for all, a double victory (as Martin Luther King Jr. called it), a victory where everyone is free. God does not delight in an evil person’s death. God delights in Jesus setting them free.

What else did we think God created all this universe, and us in it, for, but for us all to live, choose, love, and hope freely … all by Grace alone?

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 18

Sunday, October 18, 2020

trees across the meadow January
trees across the meadow April
trees across the meadow June
trees across the meadow October


Taking the same shot, nearly everyday.

Until the poor, bright light

seems refreshingly clear.

Boring or revealing

of nature,

of self!?

or of God’s Grace?

1 Samuel 15:22

Samuel said, ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.

Romans 16:19

For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good, and guileless in what is evil.

Words of Grace For Today

It is common, too common, that we humans point to meaningless ritual that we keep, so as to divert attention from the truth of our sins as we try to ‘prove,’ or at least make the appearance to others, that we are ‘good’ people.

From powerful politicians fear mongering or even starting senseless wars to divert attention to their terrible politicking, to the abusive and neglectful mother who easily created lies about her husband to divert blame from herself to him, to even the youngest of children who point to their siblings or pets to lay blame for something bad anywhere. Just not on themselves.

Sacrifices on the altars started out as a meaningful observance of God’s right to all one had, and they became ways to keep up appearances for the rich, powerful and corrupt while they wreaked havoc on God’s good people, all in order to maintain their undeserved wealth, power, and fame.

Obedience to God’s Law was never taken seriously by such appearance keepers. So Samuel calls the people to be obedient to God’s Law.

Then playing out one’s obedience while breaking the spirit of it became the game the corrupt played with themselves, each other, and they thought with God.

God was not fooled, nor amused. God wept.

Paul encourages new Christians to not only be obedient to God’s Law, even it’s spirit, but to go much further. Paul calls them to become wise, to know beyond the letter and spirit of the Law. Paul calls them to know the Spirit of God (revealed to them by the Holy Spirit, and by Jesus’ example).

And not only to know, but to live accordingly, since the Spirit of God is not about anything if it is not about everything, including how one lives each moment, starting when one rises, and ending … well never ending!

What a life! To live according to God’s Spirit. Not that we can do it on our own at all, not at all. Instead the Holy Spirit transforms us and our thoughts, words and actions so that we live as God intended when God created us, forgave us, redeemed us, and made us holy people.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 17

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Path to ?

Think you’ve seen this Path before,

Maybe, Still God Requires of Us

That We Bring Sojourn Through Life

Sharing the Fullness of Life with All People

Starting with Kindness, Truth, Justice, and Hope!

Deuteronomy 10:12

So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

James 1:22

Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.

Words of Grace For Today

God requires of us?

We must be doers of the word?

Luther described James as a straw Gospel. Like a straw house that the wind blows away with ease and fire burns quickly away. All chaff, no substance.

Before God requires anything of us, Before we ‘get’ to be doers of the Word, God acts.

God acts by creating us, making us able to love, which requires free choice, which means we sin and are bound to choose to sin, so God acts to forgive us, redeem us, and set us free to love, choose, sin, and God walks with us to forgive us, redeems us and set us free again and again to love ….

Always God acts first. Then we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to do what is ‘required’ of us:

to fear God, to walk in God’s ways, to serve God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength!

Make no mistake: it is everyone’s obligation to fear and love God, to walk in God’s ways, and to serve God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength: to be DOERS of God’s Word. We do not get a pass to sit on the sidelines of life and allow EVIL to have it’s way with us and others. We are to WORK against EVIL, in all it’s forms of injustice, violence, and degradation of life.

We do not get to sit on the sidelines like those in Hottelstedt who watched train load after train load of people in cattle cars and box cars pass through their town and not work to stop the obvious extermination of masses of people, genocide to provide for a ‘pure’ Aryan nation. After the war was lost, they excused themselves that they had no idea what was happening just a few kilometres away.

Our duty includes being curious about the work of evil around us, to speak up, to speak out, and to work to stop it. We use Grace and forgiveness, giving God opportunity to rejoice at the redemption of yet more sinners.

It’s not so easy as following rules. It requires everything of us! Thank God life, all of life, has an honourable and glorious purpose! To serve God and be the ones who bring God’s will to actuality here and now … by being the bearers of forgiveness, redemption, and freedom.

What a life!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 16

Friday, October 16, 2020

Don’t Go Batty

Trust God to keep you strong, to walk with you, to protect you.

Psalm 121:4

God, who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

1 Corinthians 1:8

God will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of providing for the necessities of physical life are quite daunting at times.

Air is not complicated here in Alberta, yet.

Water … well clean water is a matter of collecting it from the city water dispensing site, cubit metres at a time, not that expensive, except for the cost of getting there and hauling it ‘home’. When it’s below freezing there are significant challenges if keeping it from freezing before one can use it, nearly impossible challenges for me. Or one can buy it much more expensive, filtered by reverse osmosis 5 gallon jugs at a time, and pay to get there and haul it home. Or one can collect rainwater and filter it oneself and sanitize it. Or one can use contaminated lake water … putting one’s own health at risk. Or in the winter one can collect snow and melt it, and boil it, trying to assure oneself that it has not been contaminated by some animal or whatever. Still water is possible. Canada has more fresh water than any other place on earth. Fortunate we are.

Food is an ongoing challenge. Growing it is not an option when one has not home or land or ability to ensure one is able to garden in any specific spot for at least a season. Buying it is necessary, but it costs money, which is in very short supply, though not non-existent. The food bank supplements what one can buy, and food is possible, most of the time, so far.

Clothing … is good, fortunately I have enough left from days of having a reasonable income, which is good since second hand stores exist, though they are limited in what they have. Or it is hours and hours away to get to the city where the available clothes are a wider selection. So far, so good, though.

Shelter is a daunting challenge that consumes more than 3/4 my time. In the end, so far, I have shelter from the rain, the snow, the wind, and the cold.

I am fortunate. I still live better than the majority of people alive on earth today, a mere fact of being born in North America and been able to work most of my adult life.

The real challenges that I cannot deal with myself, are other people’s wishes to have me dead, to arrange that that is likely, or to be willing to risk that they hit me when passing me at 110 kph on the right, on the shoulder, as I bicycle to and from town, working like mad to avoid the plentiful potholes that would wreck a rim or at least send me flying to the pavement.

Evil is hard to deal with. It’s always been incomprehensible to me, why some people are so cruel, lie so much, and cheat, or exercise their authority with malfeasance or sadistic processes.

With the daily physical needs of life, God is always there.

With dealing with the power of evil in everyday, God is always there.

The huge challenges of life are the last two necessities, meaningful labour, and love (to love others and to be loved by others.) These are not so much something one can acquire without the cooperation of the community in which one lives, or at least some people in it. When the most powerful people wish me dead … well these are nearly impossible.

When dealing with the power of evil so blatantly exercised by powerful people every day against me, God is always there. Sometimes God saves me from the effects of evil. Other times God simply weeps and suffers with me.

Still God neither slumbers nor abandons me.

As for God strengthening me (or any one for that matter) so that we are ever blameless … that never can happen. God strengthen me and strengthens each of us. We are able to remain gracious … with ourselves and with others, even our enemies who wish us dead. But we cannot on our own ever achieve blamelessness.

God must continue to forgive us each moment. Only by Grace are we now acceptable to God. In the end only by Grace (i.e. that Jesus’ record stands in for our botched, dirty and stained record) do we ever hope to still be acceptable to God.

God does not abandon us, nor does God sleep or slumber. God is on watch and walks with us.

Thanks be to God! For only by Grace do we live. Only by Grace do I live each day.

What about for you?! Do you think you make it through even a day or an hour on your own? Or are you also, by Grace, thankful for each breath?!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 15

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Path to Where?

Golden Path

Pray, We Find God’s Path

not the dead ‘fake gold’ of once green leaves.

It’s beautiful, even if the leaves are now dead and soon ugly brown.

Jeremiah 25:5

Turn now, everyone of you, from your evil way and wicked doings, and you will remain upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your ancestors from of old and for ever.

Romans 7:22-23

For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Words of Grace For Today

In every generation God calls us in many and various ways to be aware of Good and Evil and to choose to serve God, and God alone.

In every generation we fail, miserably; each and everyone of us.

Thank God our acceptance by God is not dependent on our choices, actions, thoughts and wishes or dreams.

God exercises Grace for us.


And we pray that we will be able to choose to turn from evil, even as we know we are still bound to sin.

It is a wonder that humans do anything good at all. It is a miracle that humans do any good at all. It is a commonplace Grace that the Holy Spirit pulls out of us, our thoughts, our words, our actions and inaction many things that serve God and are Good.

When we take time, God’s will is a delight to immerse oneself in. Being sure one immerses oneself in God’s Will can be a whole other (impossible and frightening) thing.

By Grace alone ….

Still, after we know that God accepts us, ‘warts’ and all, then it is a pure delight to strive in all of life, each moment, to serve God, and God alone.

Wonders never cease!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 14

Wednesday, October 14, 2020



Fear and Love


Ecclesiastes 12:13

Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone.

Acts 10:34-35

Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Words of Grace For Today

“… anyone who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God.”

Thankfully Peter did not say that only those who fear God and do what is right are acceptable to God, otherwise no one would be acceptable to God.

That would be to deny Grace.

Truth is no one can do what is right and therefore be acceptable to God.

Our duty is to keep God’s commandments, which we can only do with God’s help. Fearing God is the first step.

Luther added to that: we are to fear and love God. This is more complete, in that it brings us to the essence of God’s relationship to us. God loves us and graciously gives us freedom to choose, to forgive, and the ability to breathe, work and love … and hope.

God gives these gifts to every human, without partiality.

Accept who we are and what God gives us, and we enjoy the fullness of life and life eternal.

We can spend many hours, days and years trying to be what we are not, trying to separate ourselves from God. All of it is futile.

God stays with us, calling us to be all that God created us to be.

We can never be separated from God …

and God’s Grace.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 13

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


Dark Days,

Many Darker Days Ahead

Fear Not!

God is With Us, Grace Saves and Sustains Us

So Act

to bring in the Light!

1 Chronicles 28:20

David said further to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.

1 Corinthians 4:1

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries.

Words of Grace For Today

If ever there was a time when we needed good people to be courageous and act, it is now. Evil has found a home in so many institutions, so many pieces of civilization, and in so many hearts and minds. The social contract that underpins civilization has been under attack by those who abuse their power and position and wealth for so long, no one can predict how long it will last, as it teeters next to the abyss with one foot on a banana peel. Predictions are that no matter the election results this November in the USA there will be civil unrest and violence. Among many others who are corrupt (including those with power in the Courts, with positions in politics, with wealth from oil and the inflated economy that surrounds it) Trump is trouble, bad trouble, real bad trouble.

Fortunately not everyone is corrupt, yet. Before corruption, well past the critical mass for unrest, reaches so many people that civilization is shredded by it, we need many many many people who are willing to make good trouble, good trouble for Christ.

Martin Luther wrote, shortly after his trial where he was found guilty:

If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitioussinners. Be a sinner and sinboldly,but believe andrejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world]we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness,but, as Peter says,we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousnessdwells. It is enough that bythe riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.

No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sinsby so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly—you too are a mighty sinner.


Luther is not encouraging us to sin wildly. He states clearly that we sin already, no matter what we believe, think, do or do not do. The matter is then what? Do we recognize God’s Grace as the ultimate determination of our lives (each breath we take and each action we commit?) When we do, then we move beyond fearing our own sin. We accept it. We accept others’ sins. We exercise God’s Grace for ourselves and for others.

Levelled down to begging God for mercy, then we all can start to act, and act courageously. We can do everything the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do to counter the work of the Devil. So acting courageously we will continue to sin. This does not stop us for we trust God’ Grace.

David instructs Solomon to act, to serve God, for God will be with him.

Paul writes that we are servants of Jesus, stewards of God’s mysteries.

I gave thanks yesterday for water and fire, sufficient safe water and contained fire that keeps me warm, cooks food, and boils water.

It’s difficult to get water. Gas is too expensive to borrow a truck to travel the 25+ km there and 25 km back to get town water. There is no well and the lake water is contaminated far to much to use more than occasionally. No children have emerged from a swim with an extra leg or hand, but it’s bad. I have a bicycle that costs just my energy to run, though it’s not suitable for hauling water in any quantity. I have developed a way to collect rainwater. Since the recent rains I now have nearly full stores of rainwater, filtered and treated.

The stove that keeps me warm burns wood. LOTS of work. Every year the stove needs to be serviced, or more accurately rebuilt, fixed again and again, in order to eek out another winter of warmth from it. I was able to get this done over the Thanksgiving weekend, and it’s ready for the coming winter. There are other things I have to complete, but that one is the primary one.

Now I am set to work at surviving the winter, and living well!

What do we do with all that is life that God has given us?

David hoped his son would be faithful and serve God as Solomon ruled as king of Israel following David’s reign.

Paul hoped the Corinthians would learn to respect each other, not get caught in senseless squabbles, and look to serve (instead of rule over) others.

What do you hope for?

To live without sin and without trouble is not possible.

So serving Christ, trusting God’s Grace alone to save us, we can be so bold as opportunities provide for us, so that (though we may fail and likely will do something terribly wrong) God’s Grace will be known by many people through our words and actions (not by our sins.)

The point is, we will sin anyway, no matter what. Trying all your life not to sin is a useless consumption of our limited time alive. To do so would guarantee that we did nothing good at all. Not one little good thing at all.

Better to sin boldly.

Better to trust God to be with us.

Better to serve Christ and hold on to the mysteries we know about God.

Make trouble, good trouble. Invite others to make good trouble. We’re going to make trouble of some kind. Best we choose to make trouble, good trouble, serving Christ…

and trusting God’s forgiveness will extend also to us … especially when we need it.

And how we need it these days!