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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"They Shouted "

March 15, 2007

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Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. John 15:20

People are basically good. If left to themselves, they will almost always try to do the right thing.

It’s impossible for me to count the number of times I’ve heard pseudo-scholars ladle out such drivel. Amazingly, a lot of people want to believe that kind of thinking. Like a drowning man who is going under for the third time, they cling to the idea that any wrong we do stems from us being victims of poor parenting or an unfair social situation.

Next time I hear such silliness, I’m going to point them to what happened on Ash Wednesday in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The faithful were gathered for confession at the Roman Catholic Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi when their worship was interrupted. From underneath their pews came forth a blast of foul language and pornographic messages. Three CD players, duct taped to the pews, had been programmed to interrupt the noon worship with verbal garbage. The staff of St.Francis took the CD players to the basement and called the police. The police brought in the bomb squad who destroyed two of the CD players and kept the third for evidence.

It is difficult for me to understand the blackness of hearts, which would work so hard at insulting God’s people. Think about it. In the first place, these verbal vandals had to have a mindset that would allow them to conceive of this pitiful “prank” of desecration. Then, having decided what they would do, they invested the money to purchase the equipment, found someone to record the profanity, hooked up the timers, and broke into the church. That’s a great deal of work and a tremendous amount of hatred all designed to destroy the worship of those who were coming to the Christ to receive forgiveness for their transgressions.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at such hatred. Jesus warned His faithful followers that such a thing might happen. No, He didn’t specifically mention people placing CD players spouting profanity during the middle of a worship service, but He did say, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” You don’t have to look hard to see His prophecy on persecution taking place. It happens all around us.

Today I’m going to pray for the folks at St. Francis Basilica who had their worship service interrupted and for those who need to see Our Savior. Our Savior blessed those who persecuted Him, and forgave those who crucified Him.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, when You died upon the cross, You forgave those who didn’t know what they are doing. Today we pray for those who know what they are doing and delight in trying to disrupt Your worship. Convict them of their sin, so they may praise You. Bless the worship of all of us who have seen Your great love and sacrifice. In Your Name. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Numbers 12-14    Mark 14:27-53

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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