But God intervened.
Specifically the story reports God said, “Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
I wonder why.
But God intervened.
As Amy and I were thinking about this text we were struck by the number of words that popped up that started with the letter A. (It brought back memories of Sesame Street!) So, as we go, we invite you to hold up your letter As whenever a key word starts with the letter A. Ready?
Ordinarily Paul went to a synagogue, but not this time. This time God led him outside the city gates and he wandered down to the river and spoke to the women who had gathered there. Lydia was part of that group.
Why? Why do you suppose she was there?
Why is it that we are so drawn to conversion experiences like Paul’s?
Most people have at least one moment in time that they wish they could do over.
For Buckner it was on baseball’s biggest stage; for Peter it was in the courtyard of the high priest’s house.
So when Luke says that the women went to the tomb, early in the morning, nothing could be more full of pathos … or more ordinary.
They are there to grieve and to remember, but they also have a job to complete.
Most words last only as long as the breath that carries them. Not these words. They have the power to motivate, to inspire, to reveal.
Mary has good intentions. She has a good heart. But she would not be human if she experienced no temptation to hesitate, to be selfish, to listen to the devil’s whispers.
How does she resist?
This parable seems to be everywhere because it deals with the common themes of selfishness and self-discovery; of journey and homecoming; of rivalries and broken relationships; of sin and grace.
Blame is not just singling out the responsible parties for justice/punishment/vengeance; it can clarify behavior that needs to be modified to avoid future danger; and it can serve as the basis for changing laws or policy. But blame is also a desperate attempt to make sense of the inexplicable; to answer questions that defy easy answers; to quiet the nightmares that nip at our heels.
It is tempting to blame.