Scripture can be quite perverse. On Sunday we heard two texts of treachery – the story of David and Bathsheba, and the betrayal of Jesus leading to his arrest and crucifixion. Where is God in stories like these, when it seems the righteous are not spared, and the connivers get away with murder? This is, of course, where we learn that the Bible is not full of pious, well-behaved people and happy endings. It’s not a behavior manual on how to get right with God. It is a reminder to seek God’s eternal presence in the complicated business of being human. Our lives are messy, and mistake-filled. It is our work to find ourselves in those stories, and also to create a church community where messy people can come and have their messy lives blessed.
We have all experienced betrayal and pain, and needed strength to get through. We are all changed by such experiences. The day does come when we can look back and thank God that we are transformed, stronger, deeper, more forgiving and loving.
Shane Chan and I offered a musical reminder of God’s promises: “I will lift you from all your fear …I am hope for all who are hopeless…I am strength for all the despairing, healing for the ones who dwell in shame…Come and follow me; I will bring you home. I love you and you are mine.” (David Haas © 1991)
Peace and grace be with you, even in the icky times