Why blame God
when it’s our fault?
For my last letter of the year I say: “Don’t blame God when things go wrong, but take responsibility for your own actions and the suffering they can cause.” That’s my resolution for the New Year and one I suggest can make a big difference if we all follow it!
The question I have heard so often this year asks why God is causing so much suffering through Covid, floods, fires, terrorist attacks and so much more. I imagine people must blame God for their careless driving that causes an accident or bones broken when tripping over an untied shoe lace. Why didn’t God tie my shoelaces for me? The pain is all God’s fault!
The small mistakes WE make can contribute to a lot of suffering, as our small gift given in love can make a big difference to the world when we work together. One snowflake doesn’t make a difference, but many together make a white carpet on which to walk. One light in the distance can be hard to see, but many together can shine like a city! God doesn’t seek praise for doing good, but wants you to be a child who brings praise to our Father in heaven when you do what is good. Our ‘Dad’ knows best so why don’t we do as we’re told?
“Your shoelaces are undone so do them up before you trip over,” is helpful advice, ignored until it’s too late.
Is God punishing us with all these bad things that cause so much suffering? Or are we punishing ourselves for our neglect and complacency? God didn’t say use as many plastic bags and wrappings as you can; chops down trees for highways and houses or for great profit from the wood and the paper or pollute the air with the fumes from petrol, smoke and gas! Don’t blame God for the melting of the great ice masses, rising of sea waters and corrosion of land. If we’ve got any wisdom at all we will change direction and avoid the Herods of today!
Herod could have been the great distraction when we were cooking on Christmas day and burnt the dinner, so why blame God because YOU took your eye off the cooker? God didn’t set fire to the kitchen or cause the family to be hungry which all escalated into a great domestic war of words! If only God had cooked the Christmas dinner the family would have had a good meal and we would have been blessed with peace!
I read an article by John Humphrys in November who said that he lost his faith in a Welsh mining valley when, as a young man, he watched weeping miners digging through a mountain of coal waste for the bodies of their children who had been crushes to death when a coal tip crashed on to their school in the village of Aberfan. He said, “that he could not reconcile the Christian belief in a merciful God with the hideous death of innocent children and a lifetime of suffering for their blameless parents.”
Well, God didn’t build that coal tip, people did. God wasn’t watching from a safe distance in heaven, but was under the mountain of coal waste with the children. Why blame God for what we do because of our greed, neglect or fear that makes us watch in complacent collusion!
Jesus was born into a time of darkness as the light of hope. Jesus was born to save the world God loves so much, not to condemn it. The light IS shining in the darkness, but why blame God if we don’t understand or accept it?
I am going to start 2021 believing that God is WITH US in all the mess through Jesus who is born into the chaos, darkness and poverty of our time so that the world will be saved. It’s not God’s fault if we don’t listen and receive the truth and grace freely given!
There has always been a welcome waiting at the door for any visitors to Broadway United Reformed Church and Covid wasn’t going to stop us saying thank you to Mary for delivering the gift that can ’save the world’ and Joseph for supporting her…. Captions for above please!
This Christmas has been very different and for many people it has been a home alone celebration so I think we should plan to catch up with what we’ve missed on the weekend of June 25th-27th. It can either be a late Christmas OR an early one as it will be six months from this one and six months to the next one. It seems a good plan to me to meet Jesus half-way through the year and make sure we have a place for him when he knocks on our door.
I haven’t told Judith to plan it yet, but a service of carols and readings on Sunday June 27th is the plan and maybe a “half-way from Christmas” picnic in the Manse Garden with mince pies, mulled wine and the trimmings on the Saturday. I don’t think I’ve gone mad, but some of you might think differently. We could even make it a Churches Together event. How about it?
Someone told me how they were looking forward to this year’s very different Christmas because it would be the first they had spent on their own as a couple for 64 years! Children should not be offended because absence makes the heart grow fonder!
We will have a New Year Commitment with communion on Sunday with a service starting at 1030 am. The usual request that you let me know if you would like to attend so that I can plan the social distancing seeing arrangements.
I pray the last few days of 2020 will be blessed for you and that 2021 will be a fruitful one for us all. I will write again next year!
Don’t forget the Hope Line if you are feeling in need of some God time on the phone. Someone told me last week how helpful they are finding it and are even doing the chair exercises by phone:
God Bless, Richard