Overwhelmed By Uninvited Interest And Advice

It isn’t always a good idea to share what I am doing here with Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan. He can be full of helpful ideas even when they are not requested. Yesterday, I shared with Ed that I have been dabbling in slogan writing.

He was quick to ask me if the slogan writing that I was doing was about pastoral work or the church. Before I could answer him, he was gladly offering slogans about me: “Tall talk of heaven, by a five-foot-five shorty!” “Beware of Pastors: they will call you a sinner!” Of course, Ed had a couple of labels that he hadn’t invented, but he liked, such as: “The church only wants my money!” “Church goers are hypocrites!” “The comfortable church pew is now empty and for sale.”

My old neighbor was sorry to hear that the slogan writing I was doing was about; food and drink, pets and animals, political comments, products, etc. He wanted to know if I had come up with a slogan for a product or political comment and I offered two for his consideration. For the new coming product, a Self-driving car, my motto was: “Self-driving cars: for distracted drivers and no-fault accidents.”  My political slogan was: “Drunk Driver or Attempted Murderer?”

I had a hard time to get Ed, off the topic of slogans that he liked especially for KFC, “finger lickin good.” Thankfully I was rescued by Ruby, Ed’s wife who reminded Ed that they had an appointment to keep that he had forgotten, and our phone call ended. When I talk to Ed, again I will not mention slogans.

In the Lenten Season, we remember some of the labels applied to Jesus. He was referred to as: the rabbi from Nazareth, a teacher with authority, a miracle healer of the deaf, the blind, and the lame, a friend of sinners, one who dared to break the laws and the traditions of the Jewish authorities, one who had power over unclean spirits and nature, itself, stilling storms, and raising the dead.

Jesus who walked on water willingly went to Jerusalem. There he was betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They condemned him to death and handed him over to the Romans who mocked him, and spit on him, and flogged him, and crucified him. On the third day, he arose from the dead. Jesus was both God and Man (human being) who was tempted to sin as we are, yet he did not give into temptation and sin as we do. Sin starts with an attraction, a desire to think, say and do that which disregards the wisdom of God’s word and a concern for the loving treatment of others and our own welfare.

Our sinful nature makes it impossible for us to overcome temptation, continually, and never sin. The great thing is that because of Jesus we can find forgiveness for our sins. On Good Friday we remember how Jesus the sinless lamb of God willingly died for our sins on the cross so that our sins are covered before God. Many feel no want or need for forgiveness before God. God is patient, and His gracious slogan is: “I ‘m ready to forgive you 24/7.”

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