Friday, July 20, 2012

Fighting Evil

Thursday, July 19
Scripture Reading—Colossians 1:15-23

 I had hoped to write on this passage yesterday, but didn’t get to it.  It is actually quite fitting for today (Friday).  Early in the morning, we were met with the news that there had been another mass killing in Colorado.  This time, a gunman entered a movie theater where an excited audience including young people and small children had gathered to watch the latest Batman movie and opened fire, killing and wounding many innocent people.  I have to admit, I was hoping to see this movie.  I know the new renditions of the Batman stories in the slickly done movies with their realistic special effects are more graphic than the old series with two grown men fighting crime in tights I grew up watching—and now laugh at because they seem so corny.  But there is an underlying theme that speaks to people with a sense of justice, and even faith, in Batman and the other popular superhero movies—and that is that no matter how ominous or threatening evil may be, good will find a way to triumph in the end.  Unfortunately, it appears that early this morning, a person tried to imitate the evil personified in the movie that people had assembled to watch.  Such events are heartbreaking and anger arousing!  But it was exactly this struggle with human sin, evil, and brokenness that Paul has in mind when he wrote, “For in him [Christ] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of the cross.” (vss. 19-20)  Paul preached that in Christ, God had given everything that could be given, to heal the breach between God and humanity, between heaven and earth.  He speaks in the past tense, as if this great act of healing and reconciliation has taken place, as if it is a fact.  And yet, to be sure, there are signs of our brokenness and persistent rebellion on display every day.  We could give up hope—or we can keep living with hope that in spite of the pain of the present moment, one day we will begin to live fully into the reality God has called into being through the death of Jesus on the Christ.  It is living in, with, and toward that hope that helps us face the realities of our broken world with courage.  We face the imperfections and sorrows of our own lives with the assumption that these too will be one day swallowed up by God’s power and goodness!

 Thought for the day:  God’s victory over sin, sorrow, and evil has already been secured in Christ.  We are called, even when it is hard to do, to live with the conviction that we will one day experience this new reality in its fullness.

 Prayer:  O God, there are signs of our world’s stubborn rebellion against your love all around us.  Not many days pass that I do not have questions myself about your nearness to me and those I love.  So, help me to know that you have already fought the fight with evil and defeated it, and that through faith, we too will one day live in the fullness of that victory.  Amen. 

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