West Union United Methodist Church
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Luke 10:27

Pastor's Corner

 

 

Consider This… From Chris
 

It’s easy to see the evil in the world.  We just pick up the morning paper and read the headlines, or listen to the nightly news, and there it is in all its wickedness:  Evil.  We see the evil of violence in the Middle East, and wonder why the Palestinians and the Israelis can’t get along, or why the Syrian president uses chemical weapons on his own people.  We see the evil of greed in corporations making billions of dollars and receiving large tax breaks, as homeless and unemployed people walk by their glitzy high-rise office buildings.  We see the evil of lust in a billions-of-dollars-a-year pornography industry, or those involved in human trafficking.  We see evil in the activities of those who think their own race or religion or language is superior to everyone else’s. I’m sure you could add to the list of sins and evil we see.

  Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian dissident and novelist, said, “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.”  Have you ever felt that way?  Let’s just put the bad people away, lock them up or give them the death penalty, and the world would be okay.

  Solzhenitsyn, however, goes on to say, “But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”  That includes mine and yours.  Does anyone remember the old radio show The Shadow?  “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  The Shadow knows!”  The Shadow knew because he had been made to confront the evil in his own heart.

  Ash Wednesday, this year on February 14, begins our Lenten season.  Lent is not a time to look outward and judge the evil in others, but to look inward, and see it in ourselves and in the systems we support.  The author M. Scott Peck noted that “the central defect of evil is not the sin, but the refusal to acknowledge it.”  Lent is a time to name it, acknowledge it, and repent of it. 

    As we move through this season of repentance we will have the opportunity to look closely at our own hearts and actions.  As we turn away from those actions that hurt relationships and turn more completely toward God, as we become stronger and more loving disciples, we will find a greater and more grace-filled purpose for our lives. 

            See you in church!

 

               Shalom,
                Chris