Last night we had our regular Sr. High meeting called Drink Deep, but being summer and still a "free and easy" type night, I simply told a story. It's one most people have heard if they've grown up in church but they've heard the children's version, not the one with sex and killing. The story of Golden Calf (the idol Israel made after God freed them from captivity in Egypt).
Now, I kind of had a thought to this story, I was planning on talking about how quick Israel was to forget what God had done and how we usually are quick to forget too. Instead of remembering the good in our lives we usually remember the bad. So after our wonderful mission trip this applies to our students remembering the good God did and keeping that with us, using it to fuel us to do good things for God in the coming school year.
That's all well and good, but not good enough for our bright minds. During the discussion time a few groups started going down a different trail of thought. Too often stories like this perpetuate the idea of a vengeful God, one that shows no mercy, and how does that relate to our New Testament grace. And they started thinking about how we really don't view sin as bad as God does, it's still as awful and deserving of a horrible punishment, but since we're forgiven we don't see it as that bad, it doesn't really hurt us. I think Pastor Josh's sermon at NewSong got them thinking.
So there's the big question for today, how bad is sin? Is it a slap on the wrist or worthy of boils and death? And does our lives and how we react to sin reflect that reality? Just food for thought I've been chewing on thanks to our amazing students...