Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners
because they suffered this way?
The vertical habit we will be exploring for the next few days deals with the one-word question Why? This may be a short word, but its three letters pack a lot of power. Young children ask Why? with wild abandon as they explore the world around them. And no matter how old we get, we never stop asking this question. Perhaps it's because we all ask Why? that some people try to come up with easy answers when tragedies happen. After Hurricane Katrina devastated most of New Orleans, some people said that God sent the storm to punish a wicked city. A few years ago, when Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister, suffered a stroke, a well-known evangelist said God was punishing him for giving parts of Israeli territory to Palestinians. This tendency to explain the problems of life is nothing new. Reading between the lines of our Scripture for today, we get the impression that people were suggesting to Jesus that the Galileans whom Pilate had killed were just getting what they deserved. As the gospels later inform us, Jesus also asked Why? when he was lifted up to die on a cross. For his sake, we receive mercy instead of the punishment we all deserve. God does not promise to give us all the answers we want. But he does give us One who is in some way the answer to our every question.
Lord, we have so many questions that seem to have no satisfying answers. Help us to trust your good will and to point others to you in their search for answers. In Jesus, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!