Like many of you , Judy and I are reading thru the “bible in a year” with Fr. Mike Schmitz….we’re now at day 100. I find it exhilarating and exhausting. You soar to the mountain tops as you see the children of God riding the crest of obedience to God’s word… great holy people, extraordinary examples of heroism……Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua…. and on the down side of the wave, you see the repeated disobedience of the people of Israel. We just read about Ahab & Jezebel, some of the worst bums of the group.
God makes it exceedingly clear what to do and the dire consequences of disobedience, and yet like incredible dummies they disobey anyway. The cycle repeats not once or twice or ten times, but over and over again. I’m exhausted as I think of the patience of God as he gives us one more chance and then one more, and one more. I feel bad for God. We keep taking his new car out for a spin…”be careful and don’t drink and drive”…okay dad…..screeeeeeeech as we peal out down the street….calling back later with the bad news…dad, I’m at the police station…”
I guess what’s especially troubling with this repeated story is it sounds a lot like me and my life…. hey, to be honest it sounds like you too so don’t be taking any bows. God gives us everything and we mess it up. The devil plays us like a Stradivarius. Remember Pinocchio…like a dunce, he fell into the hands of the evil carnival barker and it ended in disaster. Yet, the Lord loves us so much; he just has to give us another chance…he just has to rescue us.
Well, no one’s going to mistake the eloquence of this BLOG for the “Confessions of Augustine”, but there are some similarities. We serve a magnificent and holy and loving God who has paid the greatest of prices to save us from our sins. God is so great.
And the good news is that as we continue to experience his great love and mercy, we can actually change. We can tend to give our heart more and more completely to him…to reject the fleeting pleasures of sin. We can tend to believe God when he speaks to us thru his holy word and thru his church….. he keeps telling us ” follow me and obey my word and you will experience life”.
Well, even though I’ve only read about a third of the Bible with Fr. Mike, I have “peeked ahead” and discovered that God wins in the end. The cycle of disobedience comes to an end. Jesus defeats Satan, sin, and death on the cross once and for all. Listen to this from Day 365 of a “bible in a year”:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:1-5)
I’ll be honest with you. I’m really looking forward to that day… the dwelling of God with men…. no more tears or death… it’s going to be great! And that is very good news.