Daily Reflection
August 12th, 2004
Daniel Patrick O'Reilly
Registrar's Office
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

On first read, today’s scriptures were just not what I wanted to hear.  I was ready for some loving kindness and gentle reassurance.  Instead the scripture is full of anger, wrath and rejection.  However, on second read, there are some great lessons here.  In the first reading, God speaks to Ezekiel and tells him, you live in a rebellious house.  The residents have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear.  Israel will wind up as captives, driven into exile.  The psalmist warns against faithless rebellion.  God will become angry,  jealous and enraged.  The Lord will reject Israel.  And in Matthew, Jesus tells the parable of the unmerciful servant.  The servant begs forgiveness and his master forgives his debt.  Then the servant finds a fellow servant who owes him a small debt and he refuses to forgive that debt.  The master finds out and in anger hands the unmerciful servant over to the torturers until he pays his debt.  Jesus warns that this is how God will treat us if we do not show mercy and forgiveness to each other.

Yikes!  This is not what I want to hear.  Yet there are great lessons here.  Anything that gets between me and God has got to go.  Mercy and forgiveness are critical events and processes in life.  Not just to be received, but to be given.  On a daily basis.  And lastly, the God we worship is not an uncaring, complacent or nonchalant God.  I call it the three P’s.  God is powerful, personal and passionate.

This summer, one of my projects came from my wife.  We sleep in the basement and three of our boys also sleep in the basement now.  My wife has a strong fear of fire.  She wanted me to build what I would call an escape hatch.  She had some fancy name for it that I have forgotten, but it basically was a window, low enough that people could crawl out and escape a fire.  This required digging a hole, building a structure to keep the dirt out and cutting into the foundation.  I thought it was a horrible idea.  I pointed out that we had smoke alarms.  However, my wife was quite passionate about this idea and the project began.  I usually take pride in my work, but not this.  I was angry.  I was resentful.  I hurried and I cut corners.  The project wasn’t really done, but I said it was.  Well, a week or two ago a huge thunderstorm dumped lots of rain on us in a short period of time.  As you may have guessed, water came into the escape hatch and then into the basement.  What a mess.  I was furious.  This was my wife’s fault.  And I was sure she would blame my workmanship.  Instead the first words out of her mouth were "I’m sorry."  This was not her fault, it was mine.  My fault for not caring and letting that influence my work.  I should have been asking forgiveness and instead it was being asked of me.
One thing you can say about God is that He cares about us personally and passionately.  We aren’t a job that He doesn’t care about.  This  means God will not complacently accept our rejection of Him.  This means that sometimes God may become angry at our actions.  God pursues each of us with a faithful love.  There are times when I feel unworthy, insignificant or unloved.  At these times, I think of God’s passionate pursuit of me.  It’s a wonderful and amazing thing.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook