Summary: Lent is the season when we stir up the trash pile of life.
We are starting the third week of the season of Lent. Lint is a season of life review where we ask the Spirit to lead us toward personal repentance for some of our choices, words and actions.
It is a time when we examine the Good the Bad and the Ugly in our daily walk with Christ. It is a season where we look to shed the burdens of the sin that we allow to build up on our soul which weighs us down or at least separates us from growing in our relationship with God.
The kinds of sins that I am led to consider are not the big things that are obvious and clear.
I worry about not dealing with the “smaller” things. I think that all too often we stop worrying about the little white lies, the opportunities refused, the gossip spoken and the selfish choices.
What happens is that either they don’t bother us because everyone is doing IT…or we get over the feeling of gilt or conviction because it seems to be there all the time.
-- Lent is a season when we take a stick and stir up the trash pile of our past.
What happens when we stir up an old trash pile? … Normally we experience a bad aroma…more specifically it stinks.
The idea is not to experience the stink for stink sake or guilt for guilt sake but to make sure we have dealt with past or accumulated issues.
We will be taking our scripture in segments today.
In this Gospel Jesus has been in Jerusalem teaching the crowds. He has been speaking about the coming of the kingdom of God. He has connected how everyone knows how to predict the weather based on wind direction and yet they don’t see the signs of God’s coming and respond accordingly.
-- Some of the people start tossing a situation out to see what Jesus has to say about it.
Our reading comes from Luke 13:1-5 and we will start with 1-3
“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
We don’t have any direct historical connection to the event that the people were referring to however, the Jewish historian Josephus documents at least 5 occasions when Pilate’s soldiers’ killed people in the temple.
It seems that this event is fresh. And the people killed were from Galilee.
That’s what happens today when the news channel tells us about events that claim lives. We talk about them. The TV is filled with special reports and updates. We have advanced to where we can see actual images of destruction while the fires are still burning.
Typically people ask questions like where was God, this is especially true the closer the event is to our lives.
Jesus asks a rhetorical question, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners that other Galileans?”
That leads me to ask a question, where were the people from that were having the discussion?
Let’s read the next block – Vs. 4-5 and look for a suggestion: Jesus continues, “Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."”
Jesus refers to an accident that must also be recent. The tower of Siloam was a defensive position in the wall around the city. It was a visible sign of vigilance and protection to those living in the city. However, it collapsed and 18 Jerusalemites were killed.
The Jerusalem News must be filled with bad news and has everyone talking.
Jesus addition of another event seems to broaden the scope of his response.
First death was not limited to the Galileans this second event involved local people.
That seems to hint to me that the conversation started with some Jerusalemites.
Jesus is balancing one tragedy against another to broaden the real results of the event.
I think that Jesus was challenging the hearer’s perspective of the event. They seem to be looking to Jesus to explain Why this kind of thing happens.
The common view of the day was suffering in life was connected to sin while prosperity was proportional to piety…to righteousness.
Or more simply stated bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people.
--- Are we much different today?
After the initial shock of seeing a tragedy on the news we start to look for who to blame. We want to know why the accident happened. (Pilot error or mechanical failure) We want the police to catch the attackers and bring them to justice.