Thursday, October 3, 2013

Loose ends in God's Word

Bible study this week:
I am frusted with myself at the end of class. Or, with God, maybe.

We discussed Luke 13, the parable of the mustard seed, the narrow door, the judgment day.

The things we talked about were hard things, and I like to be the good girl with solid, logical answers, and I like them to be answers that make us all happy and comfortable.  But I did not have those answers, and questions still hang in the air.

Jesus is good at making people uncomfortable, even now.

Thinking about end times, judgment day, the final FINAL separation of sheep and goats... well, I pretty much don't like to think about that. I want there to always be hope, always be possibility for change and miracles.

But Jesus points us to a truly END time, and we can't help but ask, how many, Lord? This one? That one? Me?

I notice something: As I consider this in light of the sinfulness of the world, of my own sin, and sometimes small, hard-to-find faith, I wonder, how can any be saved?  Looking inward and down, it all seems hopeless.

Then, looking to the compassion of Jesus, His love for sinners, His serving and stooping and pursuing... His mercy is enormous. He desiers that all be saved. And so I wonder, how can any be lost?

There is mystery here. 
How can love not melt every single heart? How can a fist remain closed to such a gift? But that's evil, I suppose. Good-rejecting, darkness-loving, irrational nonsense.

There is a mystery.
But the mystery is not in how God feels about us.  He does not want us to wonder. He sent His son, sends His Son, for sinners. We are the sick: He sends us His physician, Jesus. 

 Word and Sacrament embrace us and we are assured of His abundant mercy.

It is so good for us to gather together and be in God's Word, even when things aren't wrapped up in a little bow at the end of our time together.  We look inward and downward, and we are rightly worried. But He lifts up our heads and points us up, to Jesus. He does not answer all of our questions, not yet, but He is enough.

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