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February 15, 2013

grace and meteors

Yesterday a 10-foot, 10 ton meteor slammed into the earths atmosphere traveling 33000 miles per hour and exploded in the sky approximately 30 miles over Russia. The resulting blast of what scientists call a cosmic pebble injured approximately1000 people. Some major news channels reported 400 deaths.

Outside of those 1400, you and I and every other living thing that creepeth upon the earth unknowingly dodged a bullet. We went about our daily business without so much as a prayer for protection from meteors.

Really church, where's the 24-hour Meteor Protection Prayer Chain?

Anyway, many of us woke up that day feeling relatively safe and secure. Nobody imagined the earth as a giant roulette table, spinning as the lifeless cold meteor that knew only the laws of physics settled down into a lucky longitude.

[Deafening boom]

What do you call this thing that happened? A cosmic weather event? A travesty? Please don't say this was an act of God or permitted by God.

Whatever your personal theology, and I don't care what it is, you must make it fit with the reality of crashing meteors and grinding tectonic plates and tornadoes and floods. You must be clear headed on the fact that most of these have nothing at all to do with a certain way of living, obedience, consequence, or reaping and sowing.

Powerful things happen that are well beyond our knowledge, our understanding, our faith, our hope, and light years beyond our control.

I realize that people have been dying from many causes and meteors have been hitting the earth for a long time. I believe in the Maker and Definer of all that is beautiful and good. There would be no tragedy or loss if you have nothing that is good to begin with. I still believe that we are our own worst enemy. I believe that many of us have the freedom to create and maybe even redeem most of the suffering we inflict on ourselves and others.

But the key word is most.

Some say that "redemption" is only a cute Sunday School word, but I'm not so sure about that either. Jesus himself said that we will always have hurting people with us, and that God brings the sun and rain to fall upon the evil and good, the righteous and the unrighteous.

You can believe that God knows us personally and loves us. You can say that he hears our prayers. But at the very least, you have to concede that God doesn't micromanage. So have grace on people who watch a meteor slice through the atmosphere and come to other conclusions. Reserve your judgements and confident tone for something you do know. Let your faith help you bring healing and reconciliation to this world.

May the destructive ripples of this meteor also stir us to serve someone in need.