Summary: A sermon about being part of God's salvation.
"The Great Rescue"
As everyone knows, Monday afternoon we had another tragedy as bombs went off at the Boston Marathon.
Among those killed was a little 8 year old boy.
Other folks lost limbs, and were seriously injured.
They will have to learn to live with the results of these injuries for the rest of their lives.
As the news of the tragedy was unraveling on t-v it was nearly impossible to learn about what was happening and shield our children at the same time.
Mary Ellen, of course, did not completely understand what had happened, but she understood well enough to make a point and also ask a very good question:
"People shouldn't be allowed to do things like that," she told me as we were moving from the t-v to the dinner table.
My response was: "People aren't allowed to do those kinds of things."
She then asked, "Then why do they do them?"
These horrible kinds of attacks are so ridiculous, really...
...and a statement coming from a child makes it even more ridiculous, broken, crazy, and twisted.
"People shouldn't be allowed to do things like that; why do they do things like that?"
Remember the Unabomber--Ted Kaczynski?
Ted grew up as a very gifted young man, who had been loved dearly by his mother.
He became a math professor, but was soon disillusioned and moved to the mountains of Montana.
He would sometimes come down from the mountains to send mail bombs to people he didn't like.
After years of investigation, he was finally discovered by police and sent to prison.
Not only did Ted cause tremendous pain to strangers and others--his actions just about crushed his mother who loved him.
Several years ago, his mother was interviewed by a reporter from the Chicago Tribune.
At the time she had been writing monthly letters to her son in prison.
She shared with the reporter what she had written in her most recent letter.
She wrote: "I want you to know, Ted, that when a child is born, the parents give them the gift of unconditional love for a lifetime.
This is true for you.
No matter what happens, my love for you will be there for a lifetime.
Even after he had refused to look at her when he entered the courtroom during his trial, even after he had given testimony in court that described her as a horrible person, she still loved him enough to write those monthly letters.
She never gave up on him.
What are you going through this morning?
Is there pain in your heart that is nearly unmanageable?
Has someone hurt you deeply?
Are you suffering from an illness, a disease?
Do you have a daily battle with depression and anxiety?
Are you so disgusted by the daily shootings in the news, the continuing occurrences of hate-filled acts like the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and the bombings in Boston that you feel there is little if any hope?
Are you weeping over the state of our world?
Are you hitting the wall right now--feeling like you can't go on, like you'll never make it?
A woman shares a story about her 7-year-old daughter, Jessica.
Jessica is a deep thinker when it comes to theological questions.
Recently, Jessica and her mother discussed why bad things happen sometimes, as they were re-reading the story of Adam and Eve and how sin came into the world.
Later that week, Jessica was sick and had to stay home from school.
Feeling miserable, she told her mom: "If only Adam and Eve hadn't eaten the fruit, I wouldn't be sick."
And before her mother could answer, Jessica added: "Of course, if they didn't eat it, we'd all be sitting here naked."
Of course, Adam and Eve's nakedness, was a sign of their innocence and purity.
And that innocence, that purity has been lost--distorted because of sin.
We live in a broken world.
Every time we turn on the t-v or open the newspaper our hearts are torn out of our chests.
We read about children who have been abducted and sold into the human sex trade...it's just about too horrible to even imagine possible...
...how can this kind of thing even occur?
How could such evil exist?
We talk to adults who were abused as children, and many of them suffer such emotional scars that they have mental illness that, many times, leads to suicide...or at the very least, a life-time of government assistance, or homelessness, or complete insanity.
We watch as persons turn to drugs-- horrible and life ruining things such as crystal meth, or even chronic alcohol abuse.
The results are tragic.
Sin and the evidence from sin brings a darkness upon our world which is so thick--even a knife won't cut through.