Dear friends in Fallbrook,
I was surprised to read recently an author who called a book on cannibalism, “refreshing.” The premise of this book was this: cannibalism is common in nature—even among humans, therefore cannibalism must be no big deal. After all, it’s “natural.” What the author considered refreshing was that, “as regards this particular behavior, at least, people are no more horrifying than, or as splendidly surprising as, any other species out there.” This, he said, “restores his faith in humanity.”
While that kind of commentary might get lots of clicks on the Internet, it’s hardly a view anyone in the real world would endorse as “refreshing.” All sorts of evil, pain, suffering, and death are common and even “natural,” but that does not make evil, pain, suffering, and death any less troubling when we face it. Far from restoring faith in humanity, the kind of harm we inflict on our own kind has historically led thoughtful people to conclude something is deeply broken in mankind. We don’t need glib denial of the problem, we need some sort of intervention.
The Scriptures of Christianity make a claim unique in all the world’s philosophies and religions—that the God of the Bible saw the evil, pain, suffering, and death we face as anything but “refreshing” or “natural.” He therefore took decisive and deliberate action to intervene on our behalf. He took human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ and intervened to crush death, eradicate evil, and inaugurate a kingdom in which pain and suffering will one day be banished forever. He died to make this happen, and he rose from the dead to prove his point to the world.
We’re looking at all the wonderful ways God has intervened in human history and in our lives this Lenten season at St. Stephen Lutheran Church. Our series is just a couple weeks old and there’s still time for you to discover how the intervention of God can bring peace, hope, and love to your life. That’s something truly refreshing—not faith in humanity, but faith in the God who rescues humanity from itself.
We worship each Sunday at 9:30am. I hope you’ll pay us a visit soon.
Serving in Christ,