Monday, September 12, 2016

Devotion 9.13.14

In the 1960's, John Wayne made the classic "Sons of Katy Elder," a western featuring Wayne and Dean Martin in lead roles as brothers, along with two others to make four sons in all, who have returned to the town in Texas where their mother passed away.  John Wayne, as the oldest Elder son, returns with a tarnished reputation as a gun fighter.  Martin returns having gambled his fortunes away and may even be wanted by the law.  The third son is a quiet type whose sins escape me, leaving only the fourth to have been there when Katy Elder died.  They returned to learn that Katy died poor, living on wages she earned by sewing and giving music lessons.  The Elder property had been taken by a wealthy man in town as a settlement after a poker game with the Elder father, who unfortunately was shot in the back after signing over the property.  Of course the rest of the movie is on settling the score and getting the Elder property back, especially because they believe it was wrongly taken.

Fast forward to 2016 and the movie "Hell or Highwater."  Two brothers have lost their mother who was about the lose the property to the bank.  A bank in Texas called "Texas Midland Bank."  Jeff Bridges is in the movie as a Texas Ranger whose headquarters are in Lubbock, Texas, and who with his partner, is set to capture the robbers of the Texas Midland Bank in towns with the names of Olney, Post, Childress, and a few other names you would recognize.  The brothers have a master plan of robbing the banks to gain the money needed to pay off the deed and keep the property, rich in oil, in the family as a trust for their sons.  In essence, they are trying to take back what they believe was wrongfully taken.

Oddly enough, in both movies, you find yourself, as do other characters in the movie, sympathetic to the Elder brothers and the brothers in the Bridges' movie.  Bridges asks one man in a diner after the robbery, "Did you see those fella's that robbed the bank?"  The man answers in a great West Texas drawl, "Shore (sure) did.  Course, that bank has been robbing me for years, so it as good to see them do the same."

We seem to be able to compartmentalize like that in our lives.  The sin I commit may be just if I believe the sin the other commits is unjust or more unjust that my own actions.  And in a John Wayne movie, if it is John Wayne, then it isn't a sin really, is it because well, it's John Wayne.  The law may view an action as justifiable, but taking something that doesn't belong to us regardless of how we lost it is, in the long run, taking something that doesn't belong to us.

What's sad is that it is sin that has gotten us so knotted up to begin with.  Immediately after disobeying God, God asks Adam where he is.  "I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked...." was Adam's reply (Genesis 3:10)  As you are aware, it gets no better after the fall.  The only redemption we have in our knotted up world is through Christ, who comes to serve as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin.  We cannot redeem ourselves, only our faith in Christ presents us before God as whole.

We lift a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the redemption we receive in Christ.

Hope Men's Ministry

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