Does this sort of thing happen daily in Washington, D.C., and in every state and local political context? Of course it does. It happens there because it happens here…in my heart and life.
It’s early. Pre-pre-dawn. It’s still too early for the dog to beg for food. Oh, that’s right, he’s been gone for over a year. Miss him. If someone would ask, “How’s your day going so far?” I’d have to confess that it’s barely begun, that there will be plenty of chances for it to go south on me.
Soon, all four souls who live here will be awake. Two of us are married to each other, grateful for deep love and commitment, despite the busyness of still raising a family and trying to provide for them while looking ahead to our own retirement. Two of our children are still at home. Two of our children live far away (more than 1,000 miles each) and have families of their own. We’re still “parenting,” and now, “grandparenting” from a distance.
Throughout this new day, there will be invitations and temptations to participate in all kinds of sins. Lies. Deceit. Half truths. Distrust. Broken promises. Gossip. Slander. Twisted narratives. The list is lengthy. Some sins are so familiar and constant I may as well put a leash on them and call them “pet” sins. There will be times when I give in. My sinful nature is a constant companion. Satan is against me. There is little in our culture that will arm me for this daily, moment-by-moment fight.
There is, however, a greater presence, a far more powerful force at work in the world. It’s also at work in me. God doesn’t merely give me his grace, his undeserved love in Christ Jesus, he gives me Christ himself. The Scriptures that declare this are many, including, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
It’s still early, still pre-dawn. Here’s my chance to get a bike ride in before the rain expected later today. I’m ready for the day. Not by my own strength, but by the power of the Spirit evident in God’s Word and the presence of my Savior. As the day begins, so it will end: just another day of grace.
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand