Posted on Jan 30, 2019 by Pastor Dave Whetter
Have you ever said something, and the moment you said it, you wished you hadn’t? You know, those times when you are saying something to your spouse, or your boss, or to a group of folks, and the minute the words come out and you see the look on the other’s face, you know, “Oops, I shouldn’t have said that!”.
As I noted in my sermon this past Sunday, our Gospel story for this coming Sunday, Feb. 3 (Luke 4:21-30) is the second part of the story. When we ended this past Sunday (Luke 4:14-21), everyone was happy with Jesus. He had shared with them that his mission was to bring good news to the poor, set the oppressed free, and bring sight to the blind. This was great news, and the people, mostly people that Jesus just had said he came to help, were ecstatic. But, as we will hear this Sunday, Jesus then goes on to say that this mission was also for those who aren’t Jews. He came for those who most of those listening to him that day didn’t like, and guess what, when he said that, they got angry and they wanted to kill him. I have to wonder, after everyone in the synagogue became filled with rage and they were trying to kill him, do you think he thought to himself as he was “walking through the midst of them” to go on his way, “I probably shouldn’t have said that?”.
The problem is, we love it when God’s grace is offered to us, but we get downright mad when someone speaks of God offering Her grace to a criminal, or a terrorist, or anyone that we don’t particularly like. But think about it, would you really want God to be selective with God’s grace?
So often we want to limit God and God’s activities to those things/people that we want, or like, or that we are interested in doing. But the problem is, we do not exist for our own mission; no, our very lives are to be about God’s mission. Now this is easy to say, but as most of you know, when you set out to really do God’s work, many times, as good as it sounds to begin with, you end up making people mad. Why? Because so often God’s work means offering grace to people that some do not think deserve it. Why should I give up my hard-earned money to share with all those people on welfare? They should get their own jobs! Why should I care about that kid in the gang who robbed or, worse yet, killed someone? Why should we sacrifice? Why? Because God cares! We are called to care about what God cares about. We are called to make God’s dream our dream.
Being a follower of Jesus means we care about the things God cares about, and God cares about being just in an unjust world. May we all be willing to care about what God cares about.
Shalom, Pastor Dave