February 10, 2015
(The Lord said) "I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not pay attention.' Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them. Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon the people, the fruit of their devices ...." Jeremiah 6:17-19a
As a parish pastor, I did weddings.
There were many weddings which were a privilege to do. There were a few that would have tested the patience of Job. Those weddings, and I remember them all, were the ones where the bride wanted to control every aspect of every detail. Unfortunately, the bride's mother and the groom's mother also wanted to do the same. I've often wondered how those grooms are doing.
The only reason I bring that up is because there is a British company called Oliver's Travels, which tells a bride she can control the weather on her wedding day. Their ad says, "We're proud and just a little bit excited to be able to offer an exclusive 'cloud-bursting' service to our customers, 100 percent guaranteeing fair weather and clear skies for when you tie the knot!"
What the company does is send up small planes to seed the clouds with silver iodide. The chemical causes the clouds to release whatever water they contain, and if the timing and the wind is right, the service will go off high and dry. And the cost for having a dry wedding? Oliver's Travels will guarantee your day for a mere $150,000.
I have no idea how many dry wedding packages they have sold.
You know, if you read through the Bible, you will, very quickly, be given insight into what makes humans tick. Quite frankly, it's not always the most flattering of pictures. Greed, selfishness, hatred, lust, envy are all there, along with a gaggle of others.
Still, if I was looking for one human characteristic that seems to flow through almost every story of Scripture, it would have to be the overwhelming desire of humans to be in control of their future and fate. Almost every patriarch has a time when he thinks he could improve on God's wishes; almost every prophet deals with a nation that is convinced God doesn't have a clue.
The above passage from Jeremiah is a good, condensed version of humankind's history -- that is our disobedience and God's displeasure. Now it's true the Lord does allow disaster to come upon those who are disobedient.
But disaster is not what God wants to give us. What the Lord wishes to bestow is forgiveness, salvation, hope and harmony. To that end He sent His Son to offer Himself as the reconciliation between earth and heaven. Because of Jesus' incredible sacrifice all who believe are changed; they are forgiven, and they are saved.
And, by God's grace, they all ought to pray, "Thy will, not mine, be done" (see Luke 22:42).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Your thoughts and ways are better than mine. Grant that I may rejoice in the changes brought about in my life through Jesus, and grant that I may always be able to pray, "Thy will be done." In the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries