Unfortunately, Xenia, Ohio has recently been in the national news because of a bad decision made by a couple of people at a fast food restaurant. The bad decision? An employee decided to take a bath in the restaurant's sink to celebrate his birthday and someone videotaped it. The health department didn't think it was very funny.
When I ordered at a fast food restaurant for lunch today (not the same restaurant) I must admit that I hesitated before placing my order. The truth is, our bad decisions can lead to other people suffering the consequences.
The Old Testament readings from the Book of Common Prayer have been from the Book of Judges and today's scripture was specifically about Samson who we often revere as a heroic person who helped Israel. But in today's scripture, Samson made a really bad decision. No, he didn't take a bath in a public restaurant sink but he did needlessly kill 30 people and take their possessions just so he could pay off a silly wager that he had made.
The Bible isn't a book about the good guys and the bad guys. The Bible is a book about people (you and me) who have been created to be God's image bearers and who sometimes fail to live the way God intends us to live. Yes, some of our bad decisions are more noticeable and damaging than other bad decisions. (Note to self: don't grab a quick shower at your local fast food restaurant and don't make silly wagers!)
So let's learn from Mr. Samson and Mr. Fast Food Man. If we're going to show up on the nightly news, let's make sure that it's for the right reason...for spreading God's transforming and healing love in our communities and world.