I am a Lutheran Pastor offering reflections on what it means to be faithful in a changing world.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Look to the Cross in a Violent World

"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.

As another 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!

No comments:

Post a Comment