lunes, 12 de agosto de 2013

Be Prepared

All of us have been affected by the horrible train accident in Galicia and also the bus crash in Italy. And we can add the tragic death of a young Christian student climbing in the Alps, who was part of group of student who had come to help our church in Madrid.

The question always arises: Why? Why do these tragedies happen? This question reminded me of a movie and a book named “The Bridge of San Luis Rey”. The movie and the book relate a terrible accident that occurred in Peru during the Spanish colonial era. A group of diverse individuals died when the foot-bridge that they were crossing collapsed over a ravine. All of them died.  Everyday hundreds of persons would cross this ravine on that foot-bridge. Why did it collapse that day and when those persons were on it?
A friar investigated every one of the victims and their lives trying to find some reason why they were chosen to die. Was there some grievous sin in their lives that merited their deaths?

Finally, the friar could not find anything in their lives that made them logical candidates for this event. They were normal people with ordinary and common lives in which was mixed good and bad but no more than anyone else. There was no moral explication for the disaster.

Many times people blame God for these disasters. “God dis this”, or “God could have prevented it if He wanted to”. Even the insurance companies sometimes call these events “acts of God”.
Let us pause and think for a moment.

God did not make high-speed trains or buses. It is true that God made the Alps but He did not make people try to climb them. We live in an imperfect world full of risk. The truth is that not one of us knows when he or she is going to die or how they are going to die. All we know is that someday we are going to die!
Someone is a smoker and dies of cancer.  Another person has never smoked in their life ant they die of lung cancer. Sometimes we can discover the causes. Many times, we cannot!

For a Christian the only lesson that we can take from these tragic events is that we should be ready to die at any moment. The author of the letter to Hebrew Christians says:
“It is appointed once for human beings to die and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

Or as Jesus told his disciples:
“Blessed are those servants whom the Lord finds watching when He comes.” (Luke 12:37a)
“You must also be ready because the Son of Manwill come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Luke 12:40)

In the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, there is a prayer in the evening devotions for a family which says:

“Grant us grace always to live in such  state that we may never be afraid to die; so that living and dying, we may be yours through the merits and satisfaction of your Son Christ Jesus, in whose Name we offer up these our imperfect prayers. Amen.”