Ministry Updates for Wednesday, May 13th, 2020
Scripture for Reflection – Matthew 19:24-26 (Continue from Yesterday)
“…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
Reflection – God’s People, Part II of II, Who Can Be Saved?
Yesterday we looked at the disciple’s shock at Jesus statement. Why were they greatly astounded? Because it was common then, as it is now, to believe riches are blessings, and therefore the rich must be blessed.
Life might be easier if easily identifiable groups or individuals could be labeled as good or bad. But experience teaches us this does not work. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Russian philosopher, novelist and political prisoner who had this ‘epiphany’ while rotting away in a Soviet gulag; ‘…it was disclosed to me that the line between good and evil… passes through every human heart.’ In other words, we need to be saved from ourselves.
We do not get to judge people by their age, their race, their nationality, their gender, or their economic status. Neither do we get to judge God by God’s actions toward us. If we are rich or poor, we are still blessed, because God is working out our salvation. If others seem more talented than we, we are still blessed, because God is working out our salvation. If our neighbor is strong and healthy while we carry infirmity, we are still blessed, because God is working out our salvation.
Through the centuries, Christianity has affirmed we cannot save ourselves. Salvation is God’s work in general, and more specifically the work of Christ on the cross. This is the direction Jesus was pointing when he said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.’
When life’s necessities exceed our reach, it is a great gift to know those necessities do not exceed God’s grasp. So, we ask God to nurture the good in our hearts, and to drive out the bad. We turn our hearts and souls over to God, who makes all things possible.
God of salvation, God of all people, God of hope, we are blessed people. Some of our blessings feel good and comfortable and lift our spirits. Other blessings do not fit our plans, or are uncomfortable, or make us doubt ourselves or even you. We know saving ourselves is impossible. All the same, you call us to choose the good over the bad, life over death, righteousness over sin, hope over despair. Help us do this. And where we fail to do so, direct our eyes and our hearts to the love and forgiveness of Jesus on the cross. Amen.