“God, the world you built is not benign. Disaster strikes, and our best-laid plans and communities are unmade. Can we call this a sign of your generosity? But when the acute pain of loss is past, we may also be able to see the way in which creation renews itself through such violent outbursts. Fire, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, drought—all of creation’s disasters contribute to that renewal in the long run. Your generosity is complicated, God. I can see why our forebears, many of whom battled the natural world for their very survival may have come to see you as a God of judgment, visiting wrath upon those with whom you were not pleased.
But I see in Jesus a redeemer, not so much a judge. In Jesus, I see the surprise of your generosity. He spoke to women. He ate with tax collectors and prostitutes. He healed on the Sabbath. And he faced a deadly mix of fear and ego and short-sightedness of both his friends and enemies. Just these things would have been sign enough, God, that generosity is part and parcel of who you are. And then you gave us the empty tomb as well.
Today we observe Good Friday. This message was adapted from “Freed to Be Generous” written by Catherine Malotky that first appeared in the January/February 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.