Time and Truth in The Hands of God – Words of Grace – March 31, 2023

Time and Truth in The Hands of God – Words of Grace – March 31, 2023

Dear Congregation,

Time and truth are tools in the hand of God to heal and to guide his people. Pray with me that both will be used by the Lord to help the grieving families and friends of the precious humans killed on Monday. Let us pray for the children and adults who will live with the effects of this trauma in the future. Let us pray.

It is often said that time heals. I believe God heals, and that he uses time. God made us humans with the capacity to grieve deeply. He created us to experience the emotions of grief in cycles. They come in waves. They take their time.

Medical technology now allows us to do outpatient surgery and to heal in a fraction of the time it took just a few decades ago. That’s in part because the surgeries are now less invasive. But there is not technology for the soul that is cut to the core by the kind of evil experienced this week. This evil is extremely invasive. Any degree of healing will take time.

We are close to this evil. Proximity is also a reality of humanness. I have heard people say this week that they feel and grieve more deeply because this mass murder happened in our neighborhood. They say this with a sense of guilt for not feeling this deeply about events that happen elsewhere. But we must remember we are not God. Only God can carry the burden of the world. We are humans with limited emotional capacity. That capacity is protected by proximity. We grieve those things that are closer to us more deeply than those things that are distant from us because we don’t have the capacity to grieve equally all the evil of this world. The point is that it will take more time for our friends, and for us, to heal because our proximity to this evil means we feel it more deeply.

Truth is also a tool for healing. Over time people can move in good or bad directions. Truth guides our thinking in time. With each new day comes new emotions that are attached to thoughts. It takes diligence, discernment, and decisiveness to hold on to what is true during the grieving process. This can make the difference in the direction we go and the place we land with our grief.

We know that God created a good world. We know that sin entered our world by the disobedience of our first parents. Evil is real, and Satan exists. There is a spiritual battle going on in which the forces of evil are warring against all that is good, and are seeking to steal, kill, and destroy. While living in this world we will experience this evil in many ways.

We know that Christ’s death and resurrection are the historical death blow to sin, evil, the devil and death. The return of Christ will be the final and manifest victory over these foes, and that in the new heaven and earth to come these will be banished forever. We know that Christ wins and that all who are in Christ win with him.

Telling ourselves the truth, over time, will by God’s grace be used to bring us through the grief and sorrow of this day. Our hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

Brothers and Sisters, I very much want to be with you Sunday. It will be Palm Sunday, and we will say together, “Hosanna. Save us, we pray, O Lord!”

We may think that “Hosanna” is the wrong word for Sunday, and that the grief of this week is too deep for songs of praise. But this word was a prayer before it was a song of praise. It means, “save us, we pray, O Lord.” The Old Testament saints prayed this prayer (Psalm 118:25). When the crowds of Jesus’ day laid their coats and palm branches on the ground before him and cried out, “Hosanna”, they were declaring that he was the answer to their prayer. Jesus came to save.

Let’s come together Sunday placing the full weight of our faith and hope on Christ to save us.