Thursday, March 13, 2014

Turning From the Wickedness

Friday of the First Week of Lent

By Melanie Rigney

When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:26-28)
If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered. (Psalm 130:3-4)
(Jesus said:) “Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” (Matthew 5:25-26)

Lord, I beg Your help in turning from the wickedness I find so attractive and tempting in the moment. I am confident in Your forgiveness; I also am totally confident I cannot find and stay on the narrow path without Your guidance.

It doesn’t sound fair, does it, the pronouncement in today’s first reading that someone who was good and became bad will die, despite that past goodness… while someone who was bad and turned good will live with God, despite that past badness?

It doesn’t seem fair, does it, that in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus calls on us to settle up with our opponents rather than let grudges and wrongs fester until a higher authority comes in to sort it all out?

It doesn’t seem fair, does it, that as we’re told in today’s Psalm, God sees our wickedness but longs to forgive us and bring us back into His family?

No, none of it seems fair. And probably, it isn’t. But then, God’s not about fairness.

May we be ever grateful for this God, who loves us beyond our understanding and cares less about fairness than on bestowing grace and mercy on us as we struggle to draw closer to Him.

The 139th Arlington Women’s Weekend is under way at Missionhurst. Please consider offering up prayers today for the babe chicks and team to accept that which is beyond all understanding: God’s awesome love for them.

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