Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Many Darker Days Ahead
God is With Us, Grace Saves and Sustains Us
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!