"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." John 3:17
The recent turmoil in the Middle East that resulted in the killing of
four Americans including a U.S. Ambassador causes fear and uncertainty
to security and stability in the world. Once discussion over the
political ramifications settled down I listen to my leaders hoping to be
comforted. I deplore the senseless violence human beings engage in, and
the desire to be immersed in its perpetual circle. I look to God for
security and comfort in times like this.
What I want is for God to rid
the world of those who participate in evil acts that harm or take the
lives of others. However, when I look to God I find him in Jesus Christ
crucified on a cross. Christians not only look to the cross but proclaim
Christ crucified. We speak about a God who is vulnerable, who seems
weak through a human point of view. This is a stumbling block to some
and foolishness to others (1 Corinthians 1:23). The cross in an
instrument of pain, suffering and death that Christ has used to save us.
Lutheran Christians are adamant about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on
the cross that declares us innocent of sin and brokeness.
Reformation Sunday approaches our witness to the world is still
relevant. Lutheran Christians are a religious tradition centered on the
cross of Christ. We believe in a God that does not want to participate
in the perpetual circle of violence. On the cross, Jesus Christ puts an
end to sin, death and all evil. I quickly realize that my initial
desire to rid the world of people who cause harm would include me ("If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?" Psalm
130:3). I also realize that It is the desire of our God for all to be
saved (John 3:17). I continue to pray for victims and all those
affected by violence and warfare throughout the world. I also pray for
those that are responsible for the violence. As people of faith the
only weapon in our arsenal is the good news of Christ Crucified in a
dark and broken world. This message may seem like foolishness to some
and serve as a stumbling block to others (1 Corinthians 1:23), but for people of faith, it
gives us hope. Through the Cross the circle of violence is destroyed and life is eternal. God defeats evil with love and wins for us life through his
death. "For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength." (1 Corinthians 1:25) Thanks be to God!