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  • "A Musing Pastor"

This Year Isn't The Enemy.

Isn't it great to assign blame to someone or something? They did it! The dog did it! The cat did it

Sometimes, bad things happen and we still want to blame a person or object for the problem. Assigning blame somewhere may help us feel less helpless. It may help us explain how and why people die and bad things happen. It makes us feel better in some way....I guess?

About this time every year, I hear people lamenting the past year being a bad year.... I was not aware that four numbers clumped together to represent a group of 365 days could actually do bad things or bring bad things to the forefront! Really, if 2016 is the culprit then perhaps we need to change the calendar and or stop counting days and years. Lately, I have heard and seen folks grieving famous people who have died this year. The list of names include: Ali, Prince, Bowie, Glenn, Fisher, Fernandez, Reagan, Reno, Palmer, Howe, and on and on and on......

Please realize that about 2,500,000 people die in America each year (Center of Disease). Let that number settle into your mind for a second. Imagine the heartache that absorbs people across our nation in a year's time. Trust me, it isn't a year to point our finger at when another person dies.

A particular year or date in history, an event, or act of nature doesn't think about how it will wreck a day in the life for you and me. These inanimate things are.....well, they are unthinking inanimate things. I think it is time to acknowledge the real culprit here. The power of death has its identity in the nature of sin (Romans 6:23). Sin started this ball rolling back in Genesis and it's been rolling along ever since. Sin brought death to the Garden. Sin brings death to our world.

"By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you

were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19, NIV)

"Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain

attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen!

Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from

the ground, (Genesis 4:8-11b, NIV)

I sit here thinking back to the death of some of my loved ones. Several suffered from cancer, another from a stroke. Yet another from a severe heart attack. Why are these modes of death so prevalent? Why does there have to be death at all? If we are truly all just dust in the wind and subject to the whims of a 'year', then life carries no meaning and death shouldn't hurt so bad. My theology forms around a God who creates us in his image, loves us unconditionally, and redeems us through the blood of His Son Jesus. We are not just dust in the wind.

In both of the Genesis scriptures, God assigned blame to those who had sinned. Adam, Eve, and Cain. Sin's curse followed them (humanity) the rest of their days. God also provided protection and blessing to all three of these people. God does the same for all who have breath in their lungs. Mortality is a byproduct of sin and sin is our soul's enemy. Isn't it great to know God has made a way for our soul to be saved and restored to spiritual health? Jesus! The rest of this year will come and go. Next year will arrive. In all of those days, our God will still be seeking to save souls. Is your soul embraced by our God?

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