Friday, March 5, 2010


If you are tempted by anger today, read the gospel for this coming Sunday, Luke 13:1-9

Pontius Pilate was a horrible governor. We know from the crucifixion of Jesus that he would rather have an innocent man tortured and killed than lose his job.  The first verse of Luke 13 tells of another atrocity - it seems that some men from the area where Jesus grew up (Galilee) were killed on Pilate's orders while preparing their offerings at the Jerusalem temple. 

When Jesus heard this, he did not speak angry words against Pilate.  Instead, he took the righteous law of God and pointed it right back at the crowds who gossiped to him about the governor:
"Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did."
Jesus answers anger with a call to repentance.  James 1:20 says "Your anger does not produce God's righteousness!"  If you or I find ourselves possessed by anger, it's time to return to the Lord, confess the sin of anger, and receive his wonderful forgiveness.  For God is full of grace and mercy, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love because all of God's anger against sin was poured out on himself, on Jesus, on the cross.  Jesus took it all for me and you. 

During Lent--and at all times--we remember the cross--where Jesus suffered and died in our place.  And when we recognize what that means, that God would rather die than lose us, we will know how abundantly God loves and care for sinners like you and me.  Then perhaps we can learn some patience and back off the anger with one another.

Let's pray that will be true among us.

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