Friday, March 1, 2013

Lent 3 C - conclusion

I spent the first two days of this week in Chicago and only got back to Dallas on Tuesday night by the grace of God and the ability of a smaller carrier (Spirit) to avoid all the complications of multiple connections and options that make major airlines (American) more attractive but in this case more vulnerable to a Chicago snowstorm. There were a lot of unhappy people at ORD all trying to figure out what to do when what they planned to do was no longer an option. In the vast scheme of things it is only a vexing inconvenience to be stranded at an airport you were hoping to depart on time. But if you are a gate agent at the same airport it is equally vexing and requires quite a bit of patience – or perhaps thick skin - to respond kindly to people who are less so and have no one else to vent on but you. Maybe we should just go ahead and blame God who sent the storm in the first place and determined that some should be stuck and some (like me who has always, always, always flown American) should get home. The texts for Lent 3C – mid lent – ask and answer the questions that defy our ability to order the world according to simple – or even complex – algorithms. Isaiah explains it this way – God’s ways are not our ways. The psalmist thirsts for God like a west Texas rancher thirsting for water watches cloudless skies. It would seem that Paul who himself is saved only by the grace of God wanders back into the territory of the law but it is only to point out that the Corinthians are not ultimately in control of their own fate - even if they are not uninformed. And Jesus asks the question about the tragedies that happen without cause as a way of pointing us to the One who will dig around a tree that should have produced fruit long ago just to give it another chance.

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