Friday, March 03, 2006


This past week the Sunday school class I attend at church got slightly sidetracked discussing the issue of God’s judgment in natural disasters particularly the events of the past year regarding the Asian tsunami and the hurricanes the ravaged New Orleans. I was somewhat out of it I admit, but did follow the discussion. At one level the class discussed that all of nature’s chaos was evident of God’s judgment on creation because of our sin – true. At another level the discussion focused on, was it God’s direct judgment on the people of New Orleans. The class admitted that none of us were in a place to know…

As we drove home Michelle articulated what bothered her greatly about this discussion, and I think it is an all too important point – where is the compassion? The question is not about whether we know God’s judgment, but how will we the people of God respond?

As Christians we too quickly become anxious to see God’s judgment on wicked people, but do we ever take time to remember that we too are wicked people. Why do we quickly think because righteousness is given to us with the cross, that we suddenly have the ability, nay, the right to judge what is good and evil in this world. Is this not the beginning of the problem.

Let us just admit that the horrible tragedies of the world happen because we are sinful people. Let me reiterate, WE ARE sinful people, even his church, even the redeemed are that the race that fell, but then was redeemed. All of us are responsible. This is not merit for us to judge – that is the glory reserved for Christ. It is merit for us display the infinite riches of the shame, the suffering of the cross.

This is relevance my brothers and sister. If we want to contextualize the gospel, if we want it to be alive and relevant to a culture to the world, then we need to walk in suffering, and bear the sins of our culture. This means we do not point fingers, but we weep, we mourn, we suffer, and we labor for our neighbors. That is how we make the church relevant. The church is good at displaying God’s justice, but we need and we are called to give the mercy that was given to us.

Join me in praying for God’s mercy.