Ah, payback. “Payback,” or perhaps “karma,” is something we all have experience with. There is even a reasonably familiar saying or proverb that uses a particular vulgarity that prevents me from quoting it here but I’m sure you can fill it in: Payback is a [*****]. But is it always so? As I reflected on two of the Lectionary passages for this Sunday, Joel 2:23-32 and Luke 18:9-14, I was struck by a completely different interpretation for payback; Payback is sometimes wonderful.
There is really only way we can get to this conclusion and it is through re-visiting and re-understanding grace. There is nothing that requires God to pay back what the locusts have eaten. There is nothing that requires God to justify a tax-collector. Nothing, that is, except God’s essential nature of love and grace.
I think these sermons have more of “me” in them than usual. I don’t know if this is simply an outcome of the texts from which the sermons are drawn or if it is a consequence of being gone for the past two weeks. Whichever reason it may be, including any other reason not listed above 🙂 I hope you will find them an encouragement.
Knox Presbyterian Payback is sometimes wonderful
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Payback is sometimes wonderful