Sat, 10 March 2007
Scripture Focus: Luke 13:1-9
Is your first reaction in tough times to blame? If it is you join a whole culture looking for someone on whom to hang all of the struggle and pain. When you see someone suffering, is your tendency to blame them for the suffering they face? Again, you will find yourself in the heart (or lack of heart) of the culture. This is the easy road. On this road we cut out people from our lives who do not produce what we want. On this road we can also cut ourselves from life with others or life with God because of our failures.
The road less traveled is the road of mercy. It seeks not to blame but to help. It looks for forgiveness and readily gives others mercy in time of need. Not only can we see Jesus do this in the Gospels but we experience it as we are joined to his death and resurrection. What is so important to people of faith is that we know the one who will give it when no one else can or will.
Jesus is the gardener who takes on the fate of all humanity, our suffering and our death, head on. He not only tends to the tree, but dies on a tree. He suggests that being cut off from God is a terrible fate, and then he endures that fate with us and for us. By joining us in our suffering, Jesus does not answer the questions about why we suffer. Instead he lives it. He shows us that it does not have the last word. Beyond our hope and comprehension is something greater still, of which by his death we can only catch a glimpse. For this purpose he tends the unproductive tree and dies with it, with us.
To Know: Jesus will not give up on you, he doesn't want you to be cut off from God.
To Feel: The love of God as Jesus meets us in our sinfulness, or in our pain and struggle.
To Do: Receive mercy, give mercy, live mercifully.
Direct download: 2007-03-10_Pastor-Scott-Hackler_The-Road-Less-Traveled_The-Road-of-Judgment-and-Blame.mp3
Category:sermons -- posted at: 10:23pm CDT