Luke 13.1-5; Repent or Perish
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
It's sometimes called the blame game. We believe or even hope that bad things happen to bad people. Jesus will have none of that. The Galilean victims of Pilate's violence did not deserve to die, nor did the eighteen people who died under a collapsed tower. Yet our leaders, our cultures and our own hearts are good at the blame game with forcibly displaced people and others on the margins.
For people on the margins, life is difficult. They know violence and accidents happen any time; they understand travel is perilous. So, when the moment arrives to choose life, a choice with urgency and risk, they make it. Who among us would not do the same for ourselves and our families?
Today, Jesus' call to repent makes it clear that the time to change our lives is now. It is now because we never know when the tower might fall, the unexpected might happen to us.
This Lent, Lord, help me end the blame game.
Help me repent and open my arms.