Friday, June 6, 2008

Pastor's Perspective - The "Go" in Goodness

How often in my forty-five trips around the sun have I heard the following statements? - “You know, people are basically good”; or, “All people are good deep down inside.” The same people who say these things in a warm and fuzzy ‘Walton’s Mountain Christmas-time’ moment, haven’t seen the hit & run video I saw yesterday.

Last Friday in Hartford, Connecticut, on a busy street in broad daylight, a video caught a 78-year-old man being tossed like a rag doll into the air by a hit & run driver who callously drove away. As the man lie motionless in the street, several pedestrians gawked but did nothing. One driver stopped briefly then pulled back into traffic. A man on a scooter actually circled the victim before zipping away. Governor M. Jodi Rell said the video is “beyond chilling.” One local commented, “Like a dog they left him there.” Chief Daryl Roberts’ commentary said it all – “We have no regard for each other.”

Jesus told the rich young ruler in Mark 10:18 that “No one is good – except God alone.” Likewise, Paul reminded us in Romans 3:12, “..there is no one who does good, not even one.” So, are we as humans intrinsically good? The Bible gives us an emphatic ‘No’! God is the only One that is good; and the only way we as humans can be in the same vicinity as ‘good’ is when God’s fruit of goodness (Galatians 5:22) flows through us. Jesus elaborates that as “branches”, the only way a human can exhibit true goodness (His goodness!) is by being deliberately connected to the “vine” – Jesus Christ! (John 15:5)

This horrific new story from Hartford reminded me of the story Jesus told, that of the ‘Good Samaritan’; where a severely injured man was ignored by a host of people, until a most unlikely fellow came by and treated the victim the way he himself would want to be treated.

Remember when Cain asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Friends, as modern-day Christ followers, indeed we are our brother’s keepers. The injured are everywhere! Yet we know that only as we deliberately abide/connect with Christ can we become authentic agents and channels of His goodness in Solano County and beyond. As thousands lie spiritually injured all around us, crying out for the help and answers only Jesus provides, we cannot conveniently look away any longer. Jesus never turned a blind eye, and as His ambassadors, neither can we. Let our legacy as a community of faith be – “They loved Jesus, and never turned away from opportunities to do good.”


Nicholle said...

This makes me so sad. Thank you for the reminder that people all around me are hurting and I am guilty of walking right on by. What a heavy but doable burden.

Cheryl said...

Ouch, that hurt... how often do I turn my head to the jobless man on the corner, the needy in the street, or the hurting people all around me. Thanks for the reminder of who I am, and who I am called to be - His ambassador.

Jeramy Sossaman said...

ok, ok....convicted #3

vsossaman said...

Wow Steve, what a sad story, the ugly truth of life looks us in the face! It absolutely makes our salvation even more of a miracle, that God would love us enough to save us and give us the opportunity to share his love in the world. Thanks for the reality check.