Our Lenten worship series is called “who do you say I am?” Jesus asked this question to one of his followers and it remains central for anyone who seeks to follow Jesus in our day. This week our worship will focus on Luke 13.1-9
In his weekly blog Dan Clendenin writes about this passage: “Jesus responds to two stories of sudden and premature death that sound like something from the morning newspaper. When Pilate slaughtered some Galileans during their religious rituals (a reminder to all religious people enamored with political power), instead of blaming the governor some people blamed the victims and construed the tragedy as divine punishment. Similarly, in a bizarre accident of fate, when a tower collapsed and killed eighteen people in Siloam, some people concluded that they must have been ‘worse sinners’ than the average person. Those still living suggested that in the moral calculus of the cosmos the dead deserved to die. Perhaps at some sub-conscious level they also thought that avoiding disaster signified God’s approval of their lives. They were wrong on both counts. No, said Jesus, don’t demonize your neighbor. Don’t presume to invoke God’s judgement on someone else. You can’t purchase God’s favor by projecting your fear and anxieties onto others.”
What causes you to wonder about why good and bad things happen to people regardless of their behavior? What is your response to Jesus’ words “Unless you change, you too will perish.”?