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Friday, November 10, 2017

Becoming Truly Human – Norma Prescott Preaching

Jesus the ChristJohn 1.1 – 14; 3.16, 17

I am writing this on Thursday, November 2nd, two days after the terror attack in NYC. This morning I learned that a gunman walked into a Walmart in Thornton, CO and started shooting, killing three people. Thankfully, the gunman was captured the same day. I have to admit that the shootings in Las Vegas probably got me thinking about how little value is placed on human life, how we can so dehumanize others that taking a life or lives isn’t an issue for some people. Or the people with a twisted idea of revenge. I’ve read a few articles about a spouse who kills their own children to get back at the other spouse; parents who kill their children because the child took a piece of cake or bread when they were not supposed to. These acts and the Las Vegas shootings and the truck attack in NYC are the extremes in dehumanization today although no one will argue that there are historical events far worse than these. All of these events show how we can behave toward one another when human life is not valued, when people become a means to an end or are disliked because of who or what they are or are not.

As we know, sin and the subsequent dehumanization of humanity did not catch God by surprise, to the contrary. God’s plan and purpose for humanity was already in place when God created the heavens and the earth through the Living Word, the Son. God knew the depths of human depravity before we ever reached it. And yet, because of God’s great love for us, God sent the Son to redeem us.

I think we all wish we could skip the agonies of growth, testing and trial, loss and defeat. We’d like to skip over the times we have behaved badly toward another person, or done something we’re shamed of. We would like to forget how we sometimes seem to get stuck, repeating a pattern of behavior we regret or making the same bad decisions over and over again. It would be great if we were like Athena, springing from the head of Zeus fully grown—and armored to boot. We cannot escape the pains of the life, but we can be assured of God’s love and the efficacy of God’s plan for us. As Paul says in Romans 8.3, 4, “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Gracious Father, we continue to be alarmed by events in our world, things we never thought we’d live to see. Thank you that you give us grace and comfort through our Lord Jesus Christ, and that you have provided redemption to all who will receive it. Thank you for redeeming us. In Jesus’s name, Amen.