On the day Jesus died a rather extraordinary event happened in the temple. It’s made even more extraordinary by the fact that most of us get it completely backwards.
What is the value of a friend? What about a marriage? Children? What is the net worth of a successful career, large house, and good health? How much does happiness cost? Is our whole life defined by the economic law of supply and demand? And, if that is true, what about the Christian faith?
I’m fairly involved with my church body and district. I’m not much the political type, at least I’ve never seen myself that way. But shortly after I was ordained as a pastor and much due to the influence of Bo Giertz in my ministry, I determined to do what I could to help promote the cause of the Lutheran faith where and when I could.
Our God is the God who flung from His fingertips this universe filled with galaxies and stars, penguins and pulsars, geese and wild grass, Mastiffs and mountains, elephants and evergreens, parrots and potatoes, pacific cod, pears, and potato bugs.
I remember watching The Exorcist when I was a kid and being frustrated. I didn’t like that God’s Word didn’t work like a magic incantation to cast out the demon in the poor girl.
As many of you sadly know, early on in the movie, “The Lion King,” the lion cub Simba loses his father. Fortunately, throughout the movie, we get to hear a theme song called “The Circle of Life” to make us feel better about death.
The Bible looks at many things in this way, in a strange way when compared to our way of measuring the value and quality of human life. We imagine that the highest goal of anyone's life is to gather and stick away stuff, to gain much, to possess much, to become wealthy and care-free.
When the work is all done, when the task is completed, when what must be accomplished is achieved, when all is finally finished—well then, it’s time to rest.
Jesus. Tender shoot. Ugly. Hated. Pushed away. Pain-sufferer. God-damned. Stabbed. Wounded. Bled-out. Dead. Not the adjectives we would probably dream up to describe the kind of Savior we want.