Daily Word of Grace # 66 (June 16, 2020)
As a kid I loved the 1970’s CBS classic TV show The Incredible Hulk, starring Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner, who under extreme stress would be transformed into the Incredible Hulk, played by Lou Ferrigno. My friends and I had the opening narration memorized, “Dr. David Banner—physician, scientist—searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry. And now, when David Banner grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs. The creature is driven by rage…‘Don’t make me angry—you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.’” Unfortunately in these times of extreme stress we have been reminded that like David Banner, many of us also have a “raging sprit that dwells within”—and also like David Banner, many of us become absolutely unlikable when we are angry. The same dynamic can be seen in the Apostle Paul, who described himself as prior to his conversion being “a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence”…and yet something happened that changed him: “But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:13-14). Moreover, God offers you this same mercy and grace given the apostle, as Paul continues, “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). This is what happened on Good Friday when Jesus, under extreme stress we could never imagine, responded not in rage or anger, but in love. And through the power of the Holy Spirit God’s love can bring about “a startling metamorphosis” of a different kind, a good kind, in all of us.
Love and Prayers,