Armodoxy for Today
On our journey through Advent, we are dealing with the “Problem of Evil.” A theodicy is an answer to the problem, defined by the incongruity between the statements that God is good, God is all powerful and yet, evil exists. Yesterday, in reviewing Luke 13, we saw that Jesus clearly states that evil is not a punishment from God for our sins and mistakes. Still, we have to question, if God is all powerful, why doesn’t He merely do away with evil once and for all?
Our query begins today with an understanding of what we believe. What are the definitions of our Faith? Much of our understanding of God comes from images and concepts that are brought to us courtesy of Hollywood. And most of those ideas are formulated on misreading and misinterpretation of Old Testament stories. Jesus came with a simple message to tell us we are all children of God and there are no favorites for God. In Armenian folklore, a mother asks her children, “Which one of my fingers, if I were to cut, would not bleed?” They all bleed equally and so is a mother’s love for her children: equal for all. Even more, our Heavenly Father, Jesus tells us, “Makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” We must be careful in defining something as evil, or even as good, because we do not have the view of God.
We often confuse God with a character who appears this time of year, someone who rewards good and punishes evil. We’ve created a folklore around him and even written songs about how he makes a list and checks it twice and “Knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.” That’s Santa Claus! While Santa Claus may help us with our sense of dealing out justice, God’s justice is His own.
The other day, a celebrity with a history that would make some people uncomfortable, made a donation to a charity. Someone commented, “We don’t want your filthy money.” How presumptuous! First, that you have the right to reject someone else’s goodness, second, that there is such a thing as non-filthy money! Jesus is clearly delineating a Christian stance when he says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
God’s judgement has its own time and own method of being administered. Why God doesn’t vaporize the evil people and do away evil once and for all, the step we take tomorrow in our Advent Journey.
We pray, Heavenly Father, You know our needs better than we can ever know or understand. Calm my heart and my spirit so that I may find comfort in Your care and help me to not go beyond the limits of what is my responsibility in this world. Amen.