How are we supposed to make sense of the conflicting information in the news every day? How are we to make sense of the racism and rioting, the hatred and bloodshed? Instead of going to the latest news and op-ed pieces, we need to go back to one of the oldest stories in the Bible, the story of Cain and Abel. The story is short and simple, yet incredibly profound.
In Genesis 4, we read that Adam and Eve had two boys, Cain and Abel. Cain worked the soil. Abel tended flocks. One day, Abel brought an offering to the Lord. He brought his best. Cain did not. So, God looked with favor on Abel’s offering but not on Cain’s offering. Cain got angry with Abel. He thought Abel was his problem. In fact, he believed that if he could just get rid of Abel, he wouldn’t have any problems.
God confronted Cain’s twisted thinking, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:6-7). Unfortunately, Cain did not have ears to hear what the Lord was saying to him.
We seem to believe, like Cain, that our problems are outside of us. We have been infected with the lie that if we could just get rid of the other side (whatever the other side happens to be), then we wouldn’t have any problems. But sin is not just “out there”. Sin is crouching at our door. It wants to pounce on our hearts. Instead of trying to rule over other people, we need to rule over our sin because we are the problem. Humans are the problem.
Here is the good news: although we might want to get rid of others, God didn’t get rid of us. He came close to us in Jesus, not to destroy us, but to rescue us. The real problem in society is in our hearts. The real answer is on the cross.
I invite you to join and participate online for worship this Saturday at 5:00pm or Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30am.
Sharing Christ’s victory,
CURRENT SERIES – GOD IS HERE
ICYMI – Last weekend, Pastor Bill shared a message about race, racism, and God’s power which can refresh hearts and relationships wrecked by sin. Click here to read or watch this message.
Coming Up This Weekend – This weekend, Pastor Ben resumes the series with a message about God’s presence. When the consequences of our sin leave us in pain, we can look to Jesus. Join us on Saturday at 5:00pm or Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30am. You can join in for all of these services online.
Father’s Day Video – You can celebrate your dad or father figure by contributing a video wishing them a Happy Father’s Day! Click here to submit your video by June 17 in order for it to be included in our Father’s Day worship services.
Tuition Assistance Program – Every year, Victory provides tuition assistance to families who send their children to area Lutheran Elementary Schools. You can also donate to the Tuition Assistance fund by designating “Tuition Assistance” for the fund via our online giving platform. To find more about the program and how monies are awarded, please see the Tuition Assistance Guidelines. To apply for the program, please complete the Application for Tuition Assistance. The deadline for applications for the 2020-2021 school year is July 15, 2020.
Reopening Plans – We’re excited to announce that, starting June 27, we’ll open up our worship services to limited, reserved seating! Over the next few weekends, our volunteers and their families will attend worship to practice and polish our new processes in order to ensure your safety when you attend worship. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for details about what to expect and how you can reserve your seat. You can learn more about what reopening will look like by clicking here.
Support Victory through Amazon Smile – You can support Victory while you shop! The Amazon Smile program enables a portion of selected purchases to be donated to support our mission. To enable this on your Amazon app on your phone, here’s what you can do:
- Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device.
- Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app and tap into “Settings” (at the bottom).
- Tap “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. Select “Victory of the Lamb Exploratory” when prompted to select a charity.
This Week’s Bible Reading – This week in the Biblical Storyline Plan, we read Jeremiah 38-52 and Ezekiek 1-8. Supporting video for this week included Overview of Ezekiel – Part 1. Learn more about this reading plan and get involved at votl.life/bible.