In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
1 As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him.
1 Some who were present on that occasion told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices. 2 He replied, “Do you think the suffering of these Galileans proves that they were more sinful than all the other Galileans? 3 No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did. 4 What about those eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more guilty of wrongdoing than everyone else who lives in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did.”
6 Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 He said to his gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’ 8 The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it one more year, and I will dig around it and give it fertilizer. 9 Maybe it will produce fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”
People asked Jesus to explain “why,” in one case of a man born blind, in another of some Galileans unjustly killed by Roman soldiers. (Jesus added others killed in a tragic building accident.) In neither case did his reply give a cosmic rationale for suffering. He just noted that evil often strikes randomly. No one was “singled out” for pain or loss. The open-ended parable in Luke 13:6-9 taught human responsibility to “bear fruit,” not passive acceptance of whatever happens as “God’s will.”
Lord Jesus, I want my life to bear the kind of good fruit you are willing to grow in me. Keep me looking ahead, responsive to your guiding voice in my heart. Amen.
A close friend of mine died when I was seventeen due to illness. When they passed, a church person told me that “God was going to use his death to help his family confess some unconfessed sin in their life.” It was one of the rare moments in my life when I felt rage, and I decided I couldn’t follow a God who felt this way.
Reading these passages today gives me hope. Jesus makes it clear that a person’s sin is not the cause of someone’s illness or the reason that innocent people lost their lives. To me, this is a powerful reminder of who God is. God is a God of grace, love, and hope. God isn’t someone who inflicts pain on us for fun, to make us better people, or to make us stronger. Instead, God walks with us through the valley of the shadows and through our suffering. God suffers with us, and we are not alone.
I wonder what would have happened if all those years ago, the person who told me that sin caused my friend’s death had shared John 9 and Luke 13 with me instead? God works in many ways, but one way is through everyday people. Suffering still happens in this world, but what if we joined God in this mission to care about others and walk with them in their suffering? What if we offered hope instead of judgment? How might the world be changed?