We had to replace some windows in our church this week. Some of the local youths threw rocks through them.
Given that the building ultimately belongs to God... How dare they!
Doesn’t that make you angry? That these lads would have such disrespect for God that they would dare to throw rocks at his “house”.
If I was God there would be some kind of anti-vandal system, kind of like the one in the movie Demolition Man. Where lightning bolts would shoot out and destroy the rock before it hit the building. And then I would have another one shoot out and zap the offender for good measure. They wouldn’t be throwing rocks at my church if I was God.
But fortunately for all of us, I’m not God. Or more importantly, God is not me.
He is loving, patient, merciful, forgiving.
He would be asking, why did they do that? Are they angry with me? Are they angry with the people of my church? Are they just bored kids? How can I help them? How can I show love to them in a way that will bring them into a good relationship with me. A relationship which will change them from the inside out to the point that they not only no longer want to throw rocks, but that they also want to reach out with love to others who are hurting.
It’s pretty clear from the Bible that the Jews hated the Samaritans. (Samaritans were half cast Jews). They wouldn’t eat with one, they didn’t even like to be seen talking with one. Samaritans were unclean.
One day when Yeshua was heading up to Jerusalem he went through Samaria. But they didn’t welcome him because he was completely focused on heading for Jerusalem. (Seems fair enough really eh. Jews hate Samaritans but then they get angry when Samaritans don’t fall over themselves to welcome them).
But James and John were so indignant that they asked if Yeshua wanted them to call down fire from heaven on these people.
Even three years with Yeshua hadn’t tamed these two very much. No wonder they were called “Sons of Thunder”.
Thankfully, God isn’t like that. Otherwise we would have all been dead long ago. Zapped the first time we sinned.
I wonder if I need to be more like God?
I wonder where those kids live?