10.22.2005

getting a clue

Today Jesus asks us if we think we’re any better than the Galileans who were killed by Pilate. Or those poor 18 folks who had a tower fall on them in Siloam.

What about the millions homeless in Pakistan, India & Afghanistan from the earthquake. Or the tourists huddled in their hotels in the Yucatan, not to mention those native to that land. Or the people still struggling to put their lives together in the American South from the hurricane, or Southeast Asia from last years Tsunami. Or the folks who are sleeping on the streets tonight in affluent American cities. Or your neighbor who is suffering from a chronic illness.

"Do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!" (Luke 13: 4-5).

So much suffering. And yet we go about our daily lives, fairly free from such tragedies. It’s easy to not quite get how bad it is for our brothers and sisters. How bad it might someday be for us.

The movie Clue has 3 different endings. Common to them all is a tract bearing man (an undercover FBI agent if I remember correctly) telling the sinful guests at the mansion "Repent, for the end is near." In light of murder after murder, an exacerbated Mrs. Peacock at one point says "Your too late. It’s already here."

Sometimes it feels like that, especially with the stories filling our newspaper these days. But the message we get from the Gospel is a) don’t think you’re better than your suffering brothers and sisters, ‘cause you’re not and b) you never know when the end might come, so live a good life. Bear good fruit. More clues from that wise man from Nazareth.

1 comment:

Steph said...

My students are beginning to say that the world is coming to an end -- one is convinced that we're all gonna die from bird flu next week; I told her I doubted it and that she should do her homework anyway.

I just remind them of "You know neither the day nor the hour" ... remind them of the couple kids from another school who were killed in a car wreck three weeks ago .... and point out that, even if the world does end next Tuesday, is there anything we can do about it? "Live each day as if it were your last."