Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fire From Heaven

Growing up, one of my favorite comic strips was "Calvin and Hobbes".  Who am I kidding?  "Calvin and Hobbes" is my favorite comic strip today.  Maybe it's because I identify with Calvin, the really smart but over imaginative child.  Perhaps it is because I had a stuffed cat that I used to take everywhere with me.  Most likely, it is a combination of those two reasons in addition to how well Bill Watterson was able to use the strip as a commentary on our society.  Take this strip for example:

It can be really difficult for us to be in situations where we are powerless (maybe even victims) to stop wrongs from happening.  This becomes even more difficult when it seems like there are no consequences happening to the person who is committing wrong acts.   How easy is it for us to blame God for not righting every wrong we come across?  How often do we hear (or even ask ourselves) "How can God exist if [insert negative thing here] does?"  Even some of Jesus' disciples had trouble with this.
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village. -Luke 9:51-56
Like Calvin did almost 2000 years later, James and John wanted some sort of holy retribution against people they've seen doing something they felt was wrong.  We must remember that it is not our place to call down fire from heaven against the "sinners" of this world.  If it were, we all would have been burned long ago.  As we prepare for Holy Week, let us remember that Jesus died for everyone, even those who don't receive him in their hearts (and those who have, but act like they haven't).

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