Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So Much Hurt

Everywhere I turn it seems that I encounter more hurt, both in what I observe in the lives of others as well as in my own life. Hurt, hurt, hurt!

Perhaps the saddest part of this is to realize just how much of the hurt that we encounter and endure is actually the result of our own choices.

This is why the Lord has given us His commandments. His commandments have a threefold purpose.

First they show us what our heavenly Father is like and what He has planned for us. The Commandments teach us His goodness and providence and love. Thus, they show us how we are supposed to be.

But then the Commandments, in showing us the perfection and holiness of our heavenly Father, they simultaneously show us our sinfulness. While showing us the perfection of God and His will, they also show us how we fall short, miserably and horribly short. We do not truly even come close to measuring up. And so the Commandments drive us to despair of our own efforts at goodness so that we fall to our knees and confess our sinfulness and look up to our perfect and holy and loving and merciful Father to hear His holy absolution.

Then also, the Commandments serve as a curb to thwart evil doers. We fear getting caught and punished and so, even though we may not fear and love and trust in God above all things and even though we many not truly want to please Him, nevertheless, we fear the consequences of getting caught. And so a degree of civil goodness is produced, even among unruly and ungodly people. For all government mimics God’s holy commandments, even if they do not realize it.

The hurts that we suffer are all ultimately on account of sin in the world. Our hurts serve us, if we are willing to hear it and believe it. Our hurts continually remind us of our need for the restoration that God works in us through the faith that accompanies the gift of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Through this faith God restores to us the knowledge of His mercy and love so that we look beyond our hurts to the love of God in Christ. In Christ we experience true relief from our hurts. In Christ we are made to know the holiness of God again, and we hear Him declare this holiness to be ours once again. Even though we do not merit this declaration by what we do, nevertheless, for Christ’s sake, God declares us to be holy. He declares us to be righteous not with our own righteousness, but with His. And His righteousness has no flaws. He declares us to be His beloved children who may freely come to Him in every situation and be received by Him and embraced by Him in His Holy Communion.

When this is where our hurts cause us to turn, everything is made right again. Then our hurts turn to rejoicing and thanksgiving and our hearts are merry and full of Life!

† † †

No comments: