Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 15:10–35; Acts 24:24—25:12
"The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23)
I am tired of everyone else getting all of the breaks in life. I have a right to be treated with respect. I deserve a break as much as anyone.
Well, really, I guess I don't. If I had received everything I deserved, I wouldn't even be here. The only "breaks" I have deserved are broken bones (skull fractures, in particular… I could tell stories).
It is real easy to get angry when life passes us by on the side. But we fail to realize have many times we dodge the bullet.
I remember many times when I did things that were dense. Yet, I didn't get killed. There have been many brainless times when I wasn't paying attention while driving. Still, I did not get into an accident. There have also been times of ignorance, when people could have become really mad at me, but didn't. (They did not know I had blown it). When I think about it, I hope that I don't receive what I deserve.
Life has not treated me worse than I deserve. Life has treated me better. All along, I have been asking the wrong question. When bad things happened, I was wrong to ask, "Why me?" I should have asked, "Why am I still alive? Why did God prevent that bad thing from destroying me altogether?"
Adam and Even could have asked the same question. God warned: "If you eat, you die." They ate, they… Wait a minute… Why didn't they die on the spot? Why not them? Surely, death is what they earned for themselves.
God gave them something unearned. He gave them a gift. He extended their days. Why? So that they would suffer? No, they were kept alive because they were to receive mercy. God extended their lives, so that they could have children. He would extend their lives in mercy, so that through a child descended from the woman, a Savior would be born.
It is not wise to ask God for "our fair share." Sin gives birth to death. When God treats us fairly, we die. No. Rather, we want to be treated unfairly. We want God to give us that which we do not deserve. Thankfully, we can be treated unfairly. We can, because the sinless Seed of the woman was willing to be treated unfairly in our place. He was willing to suffer and to die for us.
God's gift is undeserved. He gives it in Christ.. His gift is forgiveness. His gift is eternal life. His gift is salvation. (Once we start making a list, we can never stop.) In Christ, God keeps on giving, as often as I have sin.
The Rev. Carlton Hein, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Loveland, CO, is the author for this portion of the Trinity season.
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