Saturday, February 2, 2013

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good Oh Lordpleasedon’t let me be misunderstood
On 1/24/65 the group called the Animals performed this song on Ed Sullivan. This song was about a man’s problem with his girl friend. Thankfully Our Lord has blessed me with a lovely bride of 37 years who seeks to not misunderstand my intentions. Even when the results resemble a dog’s breakfast.
This misunderstanding happens often when one engages others in Christianity. One would expect it to be different. We are, after all, trying to serve and brother, sister, friends and neighbors the summary of the second table of the law.
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
(Leviticus 19:17-18 ESV)
This appears to be a command easy to pull off. When one acts with integrity seeking the best for you neighbor one does not expect strain and loss of friendship. The difficulty happens due to being finite and sinful humans. The well intention ed act will be imperfect by the doer and will perhaps offend the receiver. But should this surprise those of us who follow Jesus?
Jesus’ intention was the very best. He pulled it off perfectly. However, he was and still is hated for his work. A beaten and bleeding God is not wanted by humanity. Even his closest companions were offended. One betrayed him and the rest took a powder at his mock trial.
Rather than being disheartening this is actually good news. The good deeds of our Lord is credited to us as a gift. This good act on the cross is for our sin and the resurrection is for our Justification.
Trust this good news and live in its peace. Thanks be to God. Amen. †