Daily Devotional – Monday, May 31, 2021
“All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me.” (John 14:23-24a, NLT)
Ever since the first man and woman rebelled against God, humanity’s condition is one of utter depravity. Sin has infected the ‘good’ of God’s creation; we are left now to wrestle with the resulting chaos in nature and with a spiritual cancer that has infected the heart of every human being who has ever lived…yours and mine, too. We as a race, under the unchecked influence of sin, are each capable of unspeakable evil…yes, all of us. Take a recent discovery that made the news this weekend: the remains of 215 children have been found at one of Canada’s residential schools. Many of us are left deeply grieved and angry. This is what humanity apart from God is capable of…and worse.
As I’ve read the articles that have been written in quick succession over this past weekend and people’s responses, I note that many are quick to condemn the government and religious institutions for the mind-boggling abuses that were perpetrated and then for the years of willful resistance to uncover the truth. There are definitely some hard questions that need to be answered and dare I say other ‘skeletons’ to expose. We should be demanding answers of those organizations that allowed abuse to occur, not only unchecked, but state-sanctioned. Canada’s history is in fact littered with stories that make modern-day Canadians cringe as they are unearthed. Canada’s First Nations, Afro-Canadians, Eastern European immigrants (WWI) and those of Japanese descent (WWII) have all endured the ugliness of humanity in the Canadian context. Stories of past historical atrocities can shock us for the sheer disregard of human life. And lest we think that this is all in the past, think again!
We look for someone to take the blame when these abuses come to light; after all shouldn’t someone have to answer for and pay for these crimes? In this weekend’s headlines, I have noted the accusations flung at the Catholic Church. Many priests and nuns have been guilty of the abuse, having participated actively or through their silence. The fact that their crimes were committed while ‘doing work in the name of God’ makes the abuse that much more heinous. Our reactions, however, do not get to the root of the issue. The uncovering of these past abuses has exposed for all the world to see a great fallacy that has been and continues to be rampant, especially in our Christian communities—that somehow religious affiliation can replace relationship with God; that the appearance of religiosity is sufficient without a transformation of heart; that humanity is capable of defeating the sin nature within all of us simply through ‘good works’ without giving control over our lives to God.
People were created in God’s image, but that image has become corrupted. The spiritual cancer of sin has infected us all. There is no escaping it on our own, and as much as we want someone to blame, the pointed finger will always bend itself back around to point at each one of us. Only by turning to the One who made us and loves us will we ever escape the grip of sin on our hearts. God knows the difference between those who call themselves ‘Christians’ and those who have actually submitted themselves to obeying Him. We may fool one another, we may even convince ourselves, but there is no getting this one by God. We can either accept God’s help to control the sin that is in our lives or remain susceptible to its deadly ruination.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!