Jesus Dies, We Are In Life Together

Friday, April2, 2021

In The Weeds

What Boat Are You In?

Have Any Room for Others?

Psalm 147:14

He grants peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.

Ephesians 2:14

For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.

Words of Grace For Today

While we struggle to get more than the next person, or more than we had yesterday, or maybe just enough to survive, we put ourselves in competition with others for limited resources.

Or so we think and say.

It is not so much that resources are unlimited, it is that life abundant does not require that some have so much, and others not nearly enough. More and more and more does not provide life; it only corrupts the life right out of us.

God’s peace, not only between nations, but within our borders, and between us all, even in our families and homes, does not require more and more and more.

God’s peace requires a reality check: we are God’s creatures, ‘they’ are God’s creatures, which means there is no real ‘they’, only ‘us’ all together.

Today we remember that Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice to demonstrate that God is not interested at all in our sacrificing each other in order to ‘get ahead’ or ‘to get our fair share.’

God is very interested in us sharing life, and all that makes up life, with others. Sometimes that looks like we sacrifice our own possessions or privilege or comforts … or even our own lives … in order that others may live. In reality we can only share what God has given us, a loan, as stewards. Everything is intended for everyone. God lived and died as a human to demonstrate that to us as clearly as possible.

Dr. Bonnie Henry points out that during Covid 19 we may all be in ‘the water’ together, but we certainly are not in the same boat. Some have luxury yachts and others are bailing out the dingy to save their lives.

It’s time we got everyone in a ‘safe boat.’

Trouble is Nothing . . . For We Are God’s

Friday, March 12, 2021

Dark Clouds Sit On The Horizon

And Over Us.

Doch, God Is With Us

And We Need Fear Nothing nor Anyone!

Psalm 22:11

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

Romans 14:8

If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Words of Grace For Today

When trouble threatens us, though we have done nothing to bring that trouble to ourselves.

When hoards of people believe the lies that created that trouble, repeating and augmenting the lies against us.

When the courts join in believing obvious lies and creating more of their own, and covering up their lies.

AND

There is no one to help.

OR

When the violence of greed for resources spills into our communities, forcing us to choose to acquiesce to the greed to secure a small respite for ourselves at others’ cost, or face the violence that will surely destroy us, or we run for our lives to join the other millions of refugees.

AND

There is no one to help.

OR

When the greed of unjust people rob us of our food, of our land, of our ability to provide for ourselves.

AND

There is no one to help.

OR

When the world is against us in any way at all, taking from us the abundant life that God has given us

AND

There is no one to help.

THEN

We remember

If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

God’s truth renews our courage to face whatever comes our way. We do not succumb to the temptations to give up God’s truth. We do not succumb to the temptations to fail to proclaim with our words and deeds God’s Word. We do not succumb to the temptations to fail to invite even our enemies to seek God’s peace, to be converted by the Holy Spirit, to provide justice based on truth, and to contribute to God’s double victory, standing with us and all people who face the trouble of other’s sins and evil that would rob life from us and them.

We pray with confidence:

Do not be far from us, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

For we know God is with us always.

Though no one stands with us, God walks with us and we are God’s children. Nothing nor anyone can separate us from God.

Certainly not Covid 19, nor Covid19 restrictions, nor Covidiots!

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

Grace Saves the Whole Human Race

Sunday, January 24, 2021

The woods through which life’s ‘race’ winds.

Jeremiah 2:29

Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me,’ says the Lord.

Romans 3:23-24

Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

The all seniors cross country foot race was held yesterday in the land of the faithful.

One young woman, really a girl still and the star runner among the girls, decided the night before, that she would meet with her friends for supper, to celebrate that this year for the first time the senior girls would run along with the boys.

It was a fine celebration, with duck, wine, and chocolates, and it went on and on for the victory of being able to run against the boys was a long two year battle. The later it got, the harder they celebrated, until it was midnight, then 1:00, then 2:00 when the bar, long since closed, booted them out into the taxis called for the girls.

The star male runner kept to his pre-race routine. He had a solid supper, with plenty milk and fruit juice to drink. He went to bed at his normal 10 pm, woke up at 7:00, and did a short 1 km jog to warm up before a good breakfast. He was confident he was ready when he got a ride to the race grounds. He had received a call from his friend who had test-run the race course as soon as it was set at 8:00 to get the details of what it looked like.

The star girl runner woke at 8:10 with a headache and queasy stomach. She ate a full breakfast, with lots of coffee. She arrived at the race grounds looking a bit worse for wear but not anything like she looked at 8:10.

There were a number of sprints, and shorter races held first, so it was 12:30 before a lunch break was called. The girl ate a light, nutritious penitent lunch with plenty of juice. The boy grabbed french fries and a burger with a coke. By 1:30 there were two more shorter races to be run before the main 5K cross-country race. The girls in each race had held their own, winning one and placing second in a few more. Predictably the boys were stronger and faster.

At 1:40 there was one more race. The star boy ran to the wood with his nervous stomach and emptied the fries, burger and coke into the bush. That was common. Then, so confident of himself, he forgot to eat the sugar cubes he normally ate for his empty stomach to give him energy. The star girl, penitent to the core, visited the washroom and relieved herself of the vestiges of last night’s revelry.

Then their race was called. They lined up. Set their marks. At the gun they were off.

They started, almost slow compared to the other races, but fast for this long distance. The girl drafted off the boy as they entered the woods where the trail wound up and down and around the river valley before coming back into view for the last half kilometre to the finish line.

In the woods something happened that had never happened before ….

When the runners appeared the star runners where shoulder to shoulder. Not just next to each other, but with an arm around the other racer, they struggled to run. The pack came into view easily behind them, and though they could have passed the two, they stayed in formation behind them. It was a sight to see.

As they came closer it became obvious that the girl supported the boy with his arm around her shoulder. He was limping badly on his left leg, barely touching his right foot to the ground.

So it was they came in tied for first place across the finish line, with the other five boys and one girl runners in formation close behind them, tied for third.

… In the woods something happened that had never happened before to the boy in a race as the various racer’s recounted afterwards. His right ankle turned, he fell, rolled and lay in pain. The girl, just 2 strides behind him – some other racers say he was toying with her and was not looking ahead – stopped to help him up. He was ready to quit, his sure victory lost. But she kindly reminded him he was a racer not a quitter. She wrapped his arm over her shoulders, grabbed him by the waist and they hobbled on. The other racers, a few at a time coming upon them, at first stayed in the order they arrived, but when the path entered the last half kilometre they joined arm in arm in a line behind the two, who had developed a faster pace.

In the ‘race’ of life, if we think we are headed for the finish on our own, ready to win the glory of God, we are sorely deluded. Not a single one of us is pure enough for that.

It is only the Grace of God that picks us up (usually borne by another human who God’s Grace has saved) and carries us, each year, each day, each minute towards the glory of God promised to us at our baptisms. Not a single one of us can finish the ‘race’ on our own. Only by Grace do we move forward at all, and then only humbly with others’ aide.

The victory party for that race was more subdued by far than the girls’ party of the night before, though it spread across the whole community, as people heard what Grace and the other racers had done that day … for both the girls and the boys … and the whole community.

We are in this together, and only together by Grace can we make it through life, yet alone the pandemic … or anything else life and evil throw at us.

Hang in there, together,

with Grace.

Baptized Into Christ’s Death for Life

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Wild that Needs Taming

is not out there.

It’s in our minds and hearts.

We and the Wilderness and all Creation need healing!

Jeremiah 23:3

Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.

Luke 15:4

Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?

Words of Grace For Today

This past Sunday we celebrated the Baptism of Jesus, and our own baptisms. For what purpose are we baptized into God’s flock, into God’s family together as children?

What was God planning, when God gathered the remnant back into the fold and let them be fruitful and multiply?

Back then of course land was abundant, people scarce. Survival as a people required increasing the population enough to fend off enemies.

Now the earth is overrun by humans, multiplying out of control. Wild lands are difficult to find, precious when they are, and seldom well protected from being overrun by mining, oil extraction, clear cutting, paving over, filling in the swamps (nature’s water filtration system), and generally developing them so that they serve human short term interests at the cost of our long term survival.

Covid 19 is only nature’s latest reaction to us way-too-many humans putting un-survivable stress on the ecosystems of creation.

Very few of us have ever been close to having 100 sheep. The image still is clear. Even the most cantankerous, stubborn one among many is precious to God. So precious that God goes away from the flock grazing together in the wilderness in order to pursue that hard headed one … ok to be honest that ‘one’ is each one of us at some time or another – sometimes quite often.

Baptized, we are God’s people. It is too easy to write off people who stray from reality, God’s reality of Grace. It is very sensible to write off those who attack us to destroy us … better that than to go on the offensive to destroy all our enemies. (That policy relentlessly pursued always ends with only one survivor.) God does not let us abandon even our worst enemies. Instead God sends us, away from the flock, the safety we find in our lives, and God gives us the task of rescuing, with God’s Grace, the one stubborn, cantankerous one, even if that is our worst enemy.

God does not kill our enemies. God transforms them into one of God’s children … through our kindness and grace.

We can understand that Covid 19 is not God’s plan to reduce the human population by killing off so many of us.

It is surely a wake up call. Creation needs us to be responsible and work to reduce the human population and right now, to preserve what wilderness and swamps and forest lands and arctic tundra and rain-forest and savannas that are left … before none are left, and to save the many species who are threatened today with extinction.

Hard choices. Wake up. Help us all make them starting today, before there is no more today for us all. That certainly is not God’s choice for us, but God does not limit our choices; we are free to destroy ourselves and the earth’s ecosystems … and we are well on our way.

Or we can behave together as the baptized saints that God makes us to be.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – November 27

Friday, November 27, 2020

Dead Tree Stick Out

Life Always Come to an End

For Each and All of Us

And if We Think We Can Survive on Our Own

… that’s a fool’s thing

Psalm 38:10

My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

James 1:3

You know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Words of Grace For Today

You have heard it said that whatever challenges do not kill you make you stronger.

You have heard it said that testing one’s faith produces endurance.

The first is phooey.

Covid 19 often does not kill the person infected, but there are a number of ‘long haulers’, the people who do not die, and they do not recover. Instead they suffer pain, fatigue and organ complications without end.

Covid 19 is not the only challenge that may not kill you fast, but it will almost make you wish it had.

Testing one’s faith is different. God gives us faith as a gift, and it grows as we face the challenges that life throws at us.

It is different when the challenges of life, more than Covid 19, bring our heart to throb, our strength fails, and the light of our eyes slip away from us.

It’s the beginning of the end of life, threatening our breath, our time, and our hope.

In this time of huge challenge, as life slips on a slippery banana peel on the edge of our graves, we discover exactly what our lives are made of, what our hope provides, and what our faith sustains.

If we think we can somehow go it alone, when our last foot flies into the air and our other foot only has a small grip on that slippery banana peel, it will be quite the surprise …

as God stands, firm on the ground, and catches us, so that our days do not come to a crashing halt.

It is hard to be humble when everything is going so well we can pretend we accomplish life on our own. It is easy to be humble when we can barely breathe, our arms and legs fail to move as we ask they would, and our eyes no longer distinguish between light and dark, colours and black, blessing and curse, and we experience how clearly it is that only by God’s Grace do we live, breath, move and see.

God’s presence with us in the best of times and the worst of times leaves us so humble that there is nothing else in us, but the breath we use to give God thanks. It is good to be so humbled as to give God praise for creating us.

Facing Covid 19: Words of Grace – 17 November 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Given this Beauty,

Grace or Law,

For which do you think God created the universe?

Isaiah 48:9

For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, so that I may not cut you off.

2 Timothy 1:9

God saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.

Words of Grace For Today

It is a marvellous thing that God does for us, saving us and calling us (as God’s children) to a holy calling.

God does this for us.

We do not earn it, or deserve it. We can take no credit for it, not in the least.

With Jesus’ life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension we encounter God in a new way; yet God did not change to meet us in this new way, living the life of a human being. Indeed God’s Grace made so clear in Jesus’ story, was God’s Grace for us since the beginning of creation.

Why does God do this for us?

God does this because God chooses to do this; God defers God’s anger, restrains it toward us, so that we and the whole creation can sing God’s praise. Dead people do not sing. People who receive Grace have every reason to sing and sing at every opportunity!

Pastor Erin from Trinity Edmonton preached a sermon 15 November 2020 on Jesus’ parable of the talents given to three servants, and the condemnation of the servant who hid his talent in the ground, instead of investing it. Her point was that the traditional interpretation of this as a parable about ‘investing’ our gifts in order to return even more to God is wrong. Instead it is a parable about denouncing the greed and avarice of the owner that demands unfair use be made of millions given to the servants. The owner’s condemnation of the servant who ‘plants’ his owner’s talents in the ground is all wrong; in fact that servant rightly refused to participate in the avarice of using wealth against others to multiply one’s wealth. But Pastor Erin insisted, since the parable was told by Jesus long before capitalism it was not a parable against capitalism. She said the point of the parable was: we need to subvert systems that take advantage of poor people. We must tear down these systems and replace them with ways of being equitable and fair to all people.

Which is interesting if poorly stated. What’s missing is that as Lutherans we proclaim that we are saved by GRACE, and Grace alone. We are not save by what we do, or how we think rightly, or how we subvert unjust systems … nor MUST we do anything. Trouble is so many pastors are ready to ‘tell us’ what we ‘must do, think or believe.’

Worst of all, what Erin and others preach is simply another form of telling us what we must do in order to please Jesus and God and thereby earn God’s favour. It is a futile exercise in the ‘power’ of the office of ministry entrusted to a pastor. This is all Law, in the most destructive, subversive way: debunk traditional interpretation of scripture and then point to what Jesus ‘said’ with a parable (interpreted through one’s own eyes/history/perspective/drive/hates/self-chosen-life-purposes) we must do as Christians, so that people will make changes to the perverse and evil world order that we live under.

God, fortunately, does not wait for us to subvert unjust systems, as just as those actions may be; God acts first, not by overpowering or undercutting or destroying unjust systems and the people who support them and benefit from them. God acts by graciously forgiving, renewing and guiding us, all of us.

Therefore we are free to think differently about unjust systems, and in thinking differently we change how we interact with them; which forces the systems to change in response to us.

Jesus tells parables in such a way as to shock his listeners into imagining that something can be different, that God enables us to be different, that God enables us to be God’s Grace for all people. (That’s what any good sermon has at it’s core.)

God gives us ‘talents’ (i.e. gifts of a great variety) in an overabundant quantity and quality. Like money, we get opportunities to ‘invest’ our gifts in God’s kingdom. Our investing in God’s Kingdom (unlike investing in the unjust money systems humans always have had, which Jesus slams in his parable) reaps great increases in our gifts, of which we are only stewards All we are, have and can believe, think and do belongs to God. We ‘have’ it all only by Grace.

Wasting Grace by reducing life to what we must do, whether that is to believe the right things, to maintain a particular piety, or to work in whatever ways to subvert injustices, is a waste of the Grace given to us; it is like burying a great treasure in the ground, instead of using it to do God’s work in this world.

Why does God do anything for us? Why does God chose to exercise Grace for us?

Because God so chooses.

How can we respond?

By giving God thanks and praise!

Once we do that whole-heartedly, then God can use us in new ways to share God’s way of being, to share God’s Grace for everyone with everyone.

Why us? Because God so chooses! Despite our deserving only God’s anger.

Thanks be to God.

Now let us get on with giving God thanks and praise, by sharing Grace with all the people we meet … even if our pastor has forgotten the beginning and end of God’s Word is always GRACE.

Facing Covid 19: Words of Grace – November 16

Monday, November 16, 2020

Given this Beauty,

Love or Hate,

For which do you think God created the universe?

Leviticus 19:18

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.

Hebrews 13:1-2

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Words of Grace For Today

Vengeance or bearing grudges take one’s soul for a ride into Hell. When we hang on to the desire for vengeance and grudges it anchors us in that Hell, and everything else we try to do is … hopeless.

Mutual love, especially for one’s enemies, has the opposite effect on our souls and the world around us. It brings us into harmony with the Light of the universe, the Word that created it all, and the Spirit that guides us forward as God’s own children.

Vengeance and grudges are the way of the world, and as our days progress forward in time again in again it seems we have little choice but to respond to the many attempts to do us in with schemes and memories that will even the score, secure our futures, and set things right.

Of course, no such evening of the score, security for our futures, and setting things right ever happens through vengeance and grudges. Instead we give our enemies cause for more vengeance and grudges, setting us all up for a never ending cycle of destruction and retribution.

So choose: vengeance and grudges … that will never end.

Or, by God’s Grace enabling us,

choose: mutual love, so that love may surround not only yourself and your own, but all those you come in contact with, and all those who encounter you even remotely.

Having chosen mutual love, then it will be obvious, when a stranger arrives, one receives them with the love that God extends to oneself.

Perhaps … just perhaps … we will thus entertain angels unawares. More likely we will provide a lovingly welcome for everyone … I mean EVERYONE who comes our way.

What a life!

On our own there is no way we can even attempt something so grand. With the gifts of the Holy Spirit, God working in and through us, it’s a piece of cake!

Well, it’s one of the most challenging and difficult cakes of the universe, but then … what else are we going to do with the time we have?

Facing Covid 19: Words of Grace – November 14

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Little like a Leaf,

Grand like Light,

In a Minute, Forever!

Psalm 92:6

The dullard cannot know, the stupid cannot understand this.

1 Timothy 6:15-16

God will bring about the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ at the right time—God who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is God alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to God be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

Words of Grace For Today

We see things, organize things, and know things in comparison.

We like to compare ourselves to others, especially if we can find a way to look better than the others.

So we can say the dullard and the stupid. They do not understand what we can understand.

So great it is to compare favourable.

Then we try to compare anything, including ourselves, to God.

There is no comparison.

God alone has immortality, God has eternal dominion.

In terms of time, we get to live about 60 to 100 years. As our quality of life increases, which we somehow claim is our own doing, we live longer. So our 60 years is ‘our great accomplishment’ because we live longer than many who expect only to live 30 or 40 years.

God lives beyond time. By comparison to our 60 to 100 years, God has more years than we can even imagine!

God, who dwells in unapproachable light, chooses to adopt us as children.

We inherit life abundant in our 30-100 years, and then we inherit eternal life after our deaths in this wonderfully created universe.

So much for comparisons.

When we move beyond needing to falsely bolster our own status, we can claim to be the dullards and the stupid … compared to God.

Thankfully God speaks to us in many and various ways, most clearly in the life of Jesus Christ, whose light we get to reflect.

What a life!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – November 5

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Ice on Shore

Shore is Solid Ice, Then it is Not.

Still we can trust God’s Promises

They are Solid

Joshua 21:45

Not one of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

Galatians 4:28

Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac.

Words of Grace For Today

God speaks, the universe is created.

God promises, it comes to pass.

Jesus redeems us and makes us children of God, and we inherit the promises God has made through all the generations to all of God’s children, even Sarah and Abraham’s son Isaac.

The temperature floats above and below zero. Snow falls and covers the grass. The lake piles up ice on the shore and then freezes solid at the shore to the bottom, and covers the water with ice out over most of the lake, then melts it except in a band 50 feet or so along the shore. Snow melts, and freezes a hard crust over it all. It melts again to show the tallest grass, then corn snow falls and covers all but a few grass blades. The forecast is for deep cold in a few days, near -20⁰C and then a return to hovering around zero. This hovering above and below zero makes for dangerous driving, flying, and bicycling. It is also hard on plants and animals alike. We were not created to tolerate easily the freeze thaw cycle more than a few times a year, in the fall and then in the spring. This though is a deeper, longer cycle of freeze, thaw, hard freeze, big thaw every fall and spring. It killed more than a few trees last winter. It breaks down our resilience to everything, including Covid 19.

The challenge of climate change always before us, we expect the extreme weather of last year to be the norm for this year, and on for decades to come.

What new challenges will come at us this year, this month, this week, this day?!

Out of habit to preserve ourselves we too often force our old habits on the new reality.

A very mutually supportive group of pastors gathered each month before Covid 19. This week they met again in person in the city, a hot spot for Covid 19’s second wave! They gathered in a back yard with masks on, some keeping a good distance, to share stories of their work and challenges. Then the masks came off, to drink the provide coffee. Later they shared hot dogs roasted over the fire. One of the owners of the backyard survived a serious round of cancer last year, as it consumed everything about her life.

They could have met by Zoom, but chose in the middle of the second wave to do exactly what the health professionals tell us NOT to do, to unnecessarily increase our close contacts, share food and drink, and gather in person when we do not need to.

Dr. Tam said: “The balance between keeping the virus under control and keeping some of these important social, economic spaces open is a very delicate one,” Tam told The Current’s Matt Galloway.

“Keep that balance, and that see-saw in front of [your] frame of mind, and know that everything, every little thing that you do helps keep that balance in check,” she said. (CBC The Current)

To paraphrase that more succinctly: Do every little thing you can to protect yourself and everyone!

Some people wait for God to interrupt the laws of physics and biology with miracles in order to save us with miracles. For the longest time we held that Jesus fed the 5000 by miraculous physically multiplying fish and bread. The text does not exclude that explanation, but real world faith that gives life sees the text also supports the real miracle: Jesus transformed hearts from being selfish to being generous, even with strangers. Jesus miraculously finds the words and actions that motivate the people to reveal the bounty of food they collectively had brought and to share it with everyone.

The real challenge is for us not to sit back and wait for God’s promises to ‘somehow, miraculously’ come about. Rather, as children of God, God calls us, equips us, and sends us out to transform hearts and minds so that God’s will is done by billions of people!

All God’s promises come to pass.

Every little thing we can do!

That’s how all God’s promises come to pass!

Breathe. Trust. Act boldly, with kindness and grace.

Try not to be covidiots, but forgive yourselves and others who are, so that we all get back to doing every little thing we can do, to protect everyone from Covid 19, to make God’s will come about, and to make Grace the way we all interact with everyone.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – November 4

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Shores catch muck

The muck of life

Jesus clears that all up,

Atoning for our sins,

for all the sins of the world.

1 John 2:2

Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Zephaniah 3:14-15

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;shout, O Israel!Rejoice and exult with all your heart,O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,he has turned away your enemies.The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;you shall fear disaster no more.

Words of Grace For Today

Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and ... for the sins of the whole world.

The Lord has taken away the judgments against [us],he has turned away [our] enemies.

Therefore we can sing aloud … rejoice and we can trust that God is with us.

Enemies are plentiful. A judge is still trying to kill me, the consummation of many judges’ false judgments and corrupt decisions. What can one expect? Well, one can expect that those with authority behave with the honour that is due their offices, can’t one? And one can expect that they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good, no, not one.

Of course the natural progression would seem to be that the corrupt would be exposed. That never seems to be what happens.

In the end (penultimately), while the corrupt may get off scott-free (for now), we can place our trust in God’s Grace, for Jesus is atoning still for our sins, and for all the sins of the world. Now that’s quite the thing to have completed, for us and for all the world! Is it completed for all the corrupt enemies who still try to kill us and others just for fun?

God’s grace is something … something we can trust for ourselves. God’s grace is something else, something extraordinary, for it can convert corrupt authorities into God’s children.

Rejoice? Yes! For Jesus has paid the price for all our sins.

We are free! Free of condemnation, free of guilt, and free for life!

What more could we want!?!