Luke 13:2-3 And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Every time you turn on the new, it seems like there is a disaster somewhere. And then there is the other news – the one with no anchor and no commercials – the one that begins, did you hear what happened to nnnnn? There’s a funny thing about all those stories, for there is something that makes us glad to hear about disasters in the lives of others – I really don’t know why. It could be, that the scope of some of these other problems makes our own problems seem not so overwhelming, something we can learn to cope with. And yet, there is a strange relief, that seems to take the form, if it had to happen to someone, I’m glad it happened to someone else. There is one more response, one I hope we never see. I hope we never find ourselves confronted with the "I’m glad they are finally getting what they deserved."
That’s what our text is about – disaster, and the proper response of a Christian. We begin with the knowledge that all people are sinners, and the wages of sin is death – God tells us so, and God doesn’t lie. Therefore, when bad things happen as a result of sin, the very first thing we do, it we look at ourselves, we examine ourselves in light of the 10 commandments, and then we repent of the sin we see in our own lives, we ask God for mercy, we ask God to forgive us, we ask God to help us to change. That is the very first thing we do – we get right with God.
The second thing we do, is we show compassion on those who have experienced disaster, we reach out to them with care and concern, we reach out with physical help, and we reach out with the gospel of salvation. We share what God has given us in Christ.
If there is another thing that we do, it may be that it has the words – did you hear what happened to nnnnn – but it continues in a different way, for what comes next is – we’re planning to help them in this way, and we were wondering if you would like to join with us.
Today’s text serves to remind us that God has forgiven us our sins, and made us a new creation – and all this is a free gift because of Jesus suffering and death. As a new creation, it is important that we remember what it is that God created us for – do you remember?
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Our business is not to go around inspecting other peoples trees, to see if they are bearing fruit – for we cannot examine someone else’s heart – but we can examine our own.
If we see sin, what should we do (as we examine ourselves)? Of course! We should repent, we should turn right now from our own ways, and return to God’s way – return to following our savior. Do you need help? There are 2 resources I would call to your attention – especially as they are both found in the same place.
1st – is the means of grace, word and sacraments, this is the food for the soul, this is what helps us to continue in faith and to grown in faith. Feed you soul a healthy diet.
2nd – is the people of the church, God has called us into a community, and the people in the church, are well aware of sin, but are also aware of the grace of God in our Savior – they can be a great encouragement.