Even now... God is faithful still!

A reading for Friday, July 3, 2015: Luke 23:26-31. (click the link to open the scripture in a new window)

Jesus offers hope at the end of our lesson today with the words of Ezekiel 17, a passage of salvation that all that were listening would know immediately. These were Jews and they recognize Ezekiel. Like a song of nationalism offered to Americans on the fourth of July Jesus says look at what God is doing even now:

Thus says the Lord God: I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out. I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs; I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it, in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind. All the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord. I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree; I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken; I will accomplish it.

The cross of Christ is a symbol of death and shame, while at the same time a symbol of hope and salvation. Sin has a way of soaking through to everyone around it. Some think they are righteous enough to avoid it, and so they point fingers at others setting themselves apart. It's not possible. All are in need of salvation.

When they came for Jesus, one who was standing nearby named Simon was caught up in the frenzy of betrayal and sin. He was forced to carry the cross of Christ. The women of Jerusalem followed behind weeping and wailing. Jesus has been beaten and bloodied, on the way to his death. He is the only one that is innocent of sin. All the rest are not.

Even now Jesus is saving the people of God. Look at what they do to me, he says, the one that is good and without sin. How much more will they do to you those that are unrighteous and struggling with sin? And yet says Jesus... even now God is faithful still! Even in this, salvation is being accomplished.

The birthday of the United States is an opportunity for celebration, but also one for reflection. We are a nation capable of amazing righteousness and justice, while at the very same time we are a nation soaked with sin. We have much to be thankful for and much to pray about.  And yet says Jesus... even now God is faithful still! Even in this, salvation is being accomplished.

Happy birthday USA! Thanks be to God.


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