Reading: Romans 7:15-25a (Click to read text)
“When I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand.”
Sometimes it seems like St. Paul is so pessimistic that reading his words is like living in a garbage pit. Nothing good whatsoever comes out. Just stinky odors and a pile of rotting flesh. Certainly, life is better than that. Certainly, humans are capable of some good. Certainly there are times for cheering.
Yet, when we listen to the news or read the paper, it seems that Paul may, indeed, be right. Humans have an incredible capacity to harm each other. And, it seems that we do that often and we do it well. It is true when we look at the world, “evil lies close at hand.”
What to do, what to do. How can this change? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! That is Paul’s answer. Only God can fix this. But, that does not excuse us from trying. Even if evil gets involved in our doing good, God can manage it. If God can turn a crucifixion into resurrection and new life, our mess-ups should be little challenge. So, with confidence, we do our best and trust that God will bring good out of our mess-ups.
Last Sunday I lead a healing service. “Service for Wholeness” we call it. I encouraged the folks to come for the laying-on-of hands and anointing for more than themselves. I encouraged them to bring the broken world forward that we could pray and anoint, that God will make it well and whole. I encourage you today to pray for the well-being of this broken world. And I urge you to do what you can to make it well. --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff.
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