Thursday, October 14, 2021
Heating with Wood Helps One Engage in Reality, no ‘spin’
the wood must be fed into the stove regularly in order to stay warm, and to cook food.
There is no pretending one stoked the fire, if one did not.
There is no pretending one gathered, cut and split the wood, if one did not.
There is no pretending one maintained the stove, if smoke does not ascend the chimney.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
By your endurance you will gain your souls.
Words of Grace For Today
This verse from Luke out of context seems to encourage us to work hard, to endure all suffering that comes our way, so that we will save ourselves and gain our souls. This is perhaps an idea behind the writer of Acts-Luke, for often enough that writer turns Grace on it’s head. Instead of Jesus saving us though we deserve nothing, the writer encourages us, now that Jesus has shown us the way, to serve others and to endure suffering, so that Jesus will acknowledge us, be gracious to us, forgive us, and give us life abundant, life eternal.
Ah, so tempting this interpretation of God’s Grace is, though a complete denial of Grace it is. It perverts Grace into something that gives us an ability to earn God’s approval and our salvation, through Jesus the great inter-mediator, saviour, and Judge!
It is simply not God’s Grace that is proclaimed in such a way. God saves us. We do nothing to receive it or make it effective or real for us. All we can do is acknowledge that God is gracious to us, and then live out the response we are able to live out. Since it will never be enough, we rely on God’s Grace each day, to save us again and again, to rescue us from our sin, and give us life abundant … even as we trundle down the devil’s deceptions’ paths.
Luke’s readers had already experienced the destruction of the temple, and Luke writes of it as if it were yet to come. It is a word of encouragement to the followers of The Way (as Jesus’ followers referred to it) who suffered greatly at the hands of Jews and Romans, persecuted for their faith.
May we be saved from such suffering … though it occurs all around us even in Canada. The covidiots who dismiss scientific research, vaccinations and all, open themselves to whatever they want to make up, or accept that others have made up, about the world around them. Many, many people participate in this fabrication of an unreal description of reality, hoping to secure for themselves a more comfortable, more privileged life than they otherwise would have. People have been putting a ‘spin’ on reality since the beginning of time, though that does not make their perversions any less perverse. It does mean that honest and kind people, who follow Jesus’ Way, and who do not participate in the ‘spin’ that is going on around them, will be targeted.
Supposedly good and honest and kind and righteous people will dedicate themselves (at church) to understand and help others understand, and work diligently to help the people living homeless in their city … and at the same time perpetrate lies about other people knowing these lies have driven those other people to be homeless.
Supposedly honourable judges will accept all kinds of lies as evidence, reject so many truths as evidence, and bully those who are honest to give up their rights… and if those victims, those honest and kind people speak the truth to the judges, the judges will respond with lies trying to justify their dishonourable use of their power by accusing the honest people of trying to justify themselves (as if honest followers of Jesus ever needed to justify themselves. We are justified by Christ, and by Christ alone, and we know it!)
The result is a devil’s delight of chaos, even in a country supposed so just and fair as Canada, and the people who suffer are those, as it always was, is and will be, those who have not claimed power for themselves with their own ‘spin’ on reality.
So we suffer homeless, living in the woods, living on the streets, some of us driven right mad by the injustice done to us, some of us burying our souls in addictions trying to out-drink, or out-drug ourselves ahead of the perverse reality ‘forced’ on us.
This is when we need to endure, and by endure it is not meant that we need to make ourselves good. God does that. We need to rely on God’s Grace each day. Despite the devil’s chaos that whips about strangling so much goodness, we need to, or more clearly, we get to celebrate Christ’s presence with us each day. We get to respond with honesty and kindness to each person, friend, enemy, or covidiot (or any of the other forms the devil’s agents assume). We get to respond to all that comes our way with gratitude for God’s Grace that gives us breathe for each day. And we get to respond to the challenges of each season that would kill us with hard work to create a safe place for us to live each day.
Most of all we get to be agents of God’s Grace, no matter how that Grace is received.