Our No, God’s Yes

Well, it’s been a crazy week, hasn’t it, what with all the hullabaloo and that big court case. All those people shouting at one another, some for, some against. I don’t know about you but I’ve been kind of disturbed by the whole thing. I mean, I’m as liberal as the next person, and I certainly think that people ought to be allowed to live and let live. I like change; I like it when they do something new. But new for its own sake is not helpful. There are some things you just don’t change. Too much change and the world starts to slide, things get out of whack. I’m happy for those people to do their thing off wherever they do it; but do they have to come and get in our faces with it? What right do this Jesus and his roughneck bunch of Galilean fisherman have to come down here to Jerusalem and stir up such a hornets nest?

Look, you don’t know what it was like last time one of these so-called “Messiahs” came along. Everybody got so riled up that it seemed a sure bet that the Romans and that bunch of thugs they call an army were going to sweep through the Temple district and kill everybody! I was part of the delegation from the priestly families that went to the Roman governor to lick his boots and promise that we would keep the people quiet. And here we’ve got another “King of the Jews,” preaching all kinds of crazy stuff down at the Temple day after day, just when everyone is in town for the Passover. Did you hear that he said that he was going to tear down the Temple and build it back in three days? This Temple, our Temple, that our families rebuilt with so much blood, sweat, and treasure all those years ago?

Listen, I understand what this Jesus is trying to say. God knows the Pharisees and all those others “teachers of the Torah” need a swift kick in the pants. But Jesus has gone too far! It’s as though the Temple means nothing to him, as though you could find God in the midst of that smelly rabble following him just as easily as you could find God here in Jerusalem, at the Temple, God’s footstool on earth. Who does he think he is, the prophet Amos or something, talking about transformed hearts being better than sacrifice, mercy better than grain offerings? Let me ask you, how are transformed hearts going to do anything for this rotten economy? When was the last time mercy put food on the table? Jerusalem needs the Temple; Jerusalem needs the sacrificial system. Do you know how many people we employ? Do you know how many people would be out of a job if everyone thought they could access God directly, without coming to us to do it for them?

No. This man is too dangerous. His message is too radical. I say, we say get rid of him; do it as publicly as you can, so no one else will become infected by his crazy notions. The people don’t need God; they need religion. We are the priests, the mediators between heaven and earth, and to this Jesus we say no.

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Yes, it has been a crazy week, but not for the reason those stinking collaborators the priests would have you believe. It’s been a crazy week because a known blasphemer and violator of the Sabbath has been parading around Jerusalem, teaching in the Temple, spreading his venomous lies! Oh yes, I know all about this Jesus; I’ve heard him with my own ears. I was up there in Galilee one day when somebody told me about this new rabbi and his strange message. Wanting to hear for myself I went to the house where he was teaching. Not that I was the only Pharisee there, I can tell you; a lot of us were interested in what he was going to say. At first it sounded pretty good; he quoted Deuteronomy, and told us that not one dot on an “i” or cross on a “t” would pass away from the Torah. But then this bunch of yahoos brought their paralyzed friend along to see Jesus, and because the crowd was so thick they hauled the guy up on the roof, cut a hole in it, and lowered him down through the hole! I remember thinking, “O.k., now Jesus is going to tell us whether it was this misbegotten wretch or his dirtbag parents who sinned, leading God to paralyze the guy.” But what he actually said about knocked me off my seat: “Son, your sins are forgiven.” “Whoa!” I thought; “you don’t get to say that!”And then he looked right at me as though I had spoken those thoughts out loud, and he said “Which is easier to say; ‘Your sins are forgiven, or ‘Stand up, take your mat, and walk.’” Which, of course, is what Jesus said next–and the man stood up and walked!

But the blasphemy of implying he could forgive sin the way God does wasn’t good enough for him; no, he had to go and perform another one of his miracles by healing someone ON THE SABBATH!! Years that person had been sick, and Jesus couldn’t wait another lousy 24 hours to heal him? And then he did it again, and more after that! Once, he made some smarmy comment about the Sabbath being made for human beings, not the other way around. I tell you, it doesn’t work that way. Look around; do you see any shortage of people? No there’s people everywhere, more than we need. All these people, and only ONE SABBATH! Of course God cares more about the Sabbath than people!

Listen, I understand and appreciate some of the stuff this guy is trying to say. Somebody needs to tell those stuck-up bluebloods in the priestly families that God doesn’t dwell in temples made with human hands. But this Jesus goes too far! He claims to love the Torah, and he can do a pretty good job of quoting it and preaching about it, but whenever he’s teaching he goes off the reservation. He says crazy stuff like what comes out of your mouth is more important than what goes into it; he tells subversive stories about Samaritans and worthless sons; he acts as though the Kingdom of God is nothing but a big party to which God has invited everybody, even (or especially) the unbelievers and the unclean. Worst of all he associates constantly with the worst kinds of sinners, from tax collectors and hooligans to, to, . . . “loose women.”

No. This man is too dangerous. His message is too radical. I say, we say, get rid of him; do it as publicly as you can, so no one else will become infected by his crazy notions. The people don’t need his warm and fuzzy “God”; they need lives of order and discipline, listening to the right people. We are the Pharisees, the teachers of the Torah, and to this Jesus we say no.

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My God, what a crazy week it’s been. Jerusalem has been full of Jews and more Jews, all of them here to celebrate this thing they call the “Passover.” It’s some religious festival, something to do with their God killing Egyptians back in the day. Ha! As though you need a God to kill Egyptians. Me and the boys under my command did plenty of that all on our own during our last tour down in Alexandria. Anyway, like I was saying Jerusalem has been a zoo: people pushing and shouting at one another, livestock on its way to be sacrificed at their Temple making a mess everywhere, scam artists and grifters working the crowd, looking to rip off some poor hick down from the Galilee for the festival. Being a Roman centurion is never easy when you’re assigned to one of the provinces, but working crowd control in this flea-ridden mudhole of a place they call Judea? The worst.

And just to put the cherry on top of the whipped cream they got one of their so-called “Messiahs” in town. A real nut job this one, goes around one day calling himself the “Son of Man,” the next saying he’s the “Son of God,” whatever either of those are supposed to mean. Jesus of Nazareth is his name, was supposed to be a stone mason or maybe a carpenter before God flew down and started whispering in his ear. For the last three years he’s been going around Galilee, Samaria, and Judea, preaching about peace and love and all that junk.

I’ve heard him talking, and some of what he says makes sense. He tells them that this Temple they’re all so proud of is no big deal, and that it’s how you treat other people that matters, not whether you’ve checked off every item on this list of rules they call the Torah,. I mean, he must be doing something right, because he’s got those oily backstabbers the priests and those sanctimonious prudes the Pharisees all upset with him! In fact, just yesterday I heard a bunch of priests and Pharisees planning to off the guy–and those two never agree on nothin!

Yeah, as I see it, the guy would be doing us a favor by getting the Jewish authorities mad at him for a while; it would distract them from moaning to us about every little problem. Except for one thing: This Jesus character keeps talking about a kingdom. Oh, he’ll call it the “Kingdom of God,” or the “Kingdom of heaven,” but we know whose kingdom he’s talking about: his. Why, just last Sunday when he was arriving in town for the festival, he let them put on a victory procession for him, with them waving palm branches and tossing their coats in the road so he could ride over them! And here he comes riding down the lane as though he were Caesar himself–except, of course, that his followers were either too cheap or too stupid to get him a real horse; they had him ride in on a donkey! I promise you, that donkey part was the only thing that kept us from arresting him right there on the spot.

Oh, but we’re gonna arrest him. Because, you see, nobody talks about their kingdom to us. This is our kingdom. We, the Romans, conquered it fair and square, and it belongs to the Empire now. No two-bit Galilean preacher is going to start a rebellion on my watch. This town, this province, this world, answer to the only power that matters: Rome.

No. This man is too dangerous. His message is too radical. I say, we say, we’re gonna get rid of him, and we’re going to do it as publicly as we can, so no one else will become infected by his crazy notions. The people don’t need God; they need Caesar. We are the Romans, the keepers of law and order, and to this Jesus we will say no–permanently.

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So it was then, and so it is now. If I’ve learned anything about how to read the Bible over the years, it’s this one thing: whenever we encounter anyone in Scripture who has made the wrong decision, acted out of fear, chosen to hate instead of to love, what have you; it’s not so the story can have bad guys along with the good guys. Those people are there in Scripture to hold up a mirror to the reader–which would be us.

In the Cross the priests, the Pharisees, and the Romans all said no to Jesus–and so do we. Like them, we say no to a full and rich relationship with God, preferring instead the empty form of religion without the genuine power of God’s Spirit. Like them we prefer dead rules and restrictions to a warm, life-giving fellowship with all those whom God has named beloved. Like them we say no to any power that does not rely on coercive force and violence, to any family that includes more than our narrow cliques and tribes. Like them, we say no to God in Jesus Christ.

In the church I grew up in, we were pretty hung up on the Crucifixion. We talked all the time about the Cross, we had pictures of it everywhere, it showed up in all of our hymns. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it meant that, except at Easter, we spent very little time talking about the Resurrection. Sometimes I had to wonder whether, if the whole point of the exercise was for Jesus to come and die, the empty tomb was necessary. That was, of course, one of those questions you never asked in my church–or, if you did, you only asked it in order to exasperate your 8th-grade Sunday School teacher.

But now, I think I might have an idea. You see, brothers and sisters, on that Sunday and on this one God says yes. Why the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead? So God can say “yes” to our “no.” To all our denials, rejections, and equivocations God answers from the empty tomb with one vast, unavoidable, irresistible affirmative. God says yes, life can transcend the shallow pursuit of self interest. God says yes, we can live in free and joyful service to others. God says yes, true power flows from emptying yourself, giving yourself away, not grasping after whatever you can.

At the Cross, we flung our “No” to what we thought was an empty sky. On the third day, and on every day, God’s answer comes back: yes.

Preached at Christ United Methodist Church, Franklin, TN March 31, 2013: Easter Sunrise Service

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I Have Sinned

This week I changed my Facebook picture. I did so to support a political cause in which I believe. In what follows I want to explain why what I did was a sin, and why I am led to confess it and ask your forgiveness.

Let me start by saying I haven’t changed my mind. I still believe that the cause I supported is just and fair. Unlike most political causes, I see this one as a simple and straightforward matter of common sense justice. Most importantly, I believe the position I supported best comports with the mind of Christ. So what’s with all this sin talk? Here’s what:

First, I have to recognize that I have a fiercely partisan spirit. Every political cause to which I attach myself is at least as much about my side winning as it is about the right decision being made for our country or society. I am often proud and arrogant about my political opinions, believing that those who hold positions different to mine do so, not out of genuine conviction, but out of bad faith or intellectual inferiority. I have undoubtedly brought that spirit into this week’s debate.

But second, and more important, I want to admit that simply by holding to my position (irrespective of the way I’ve held it), I have fractured the Body of Christ and grieved Christian brothers and sisters. To see why, you have to understand the tragic nature of the human predicament. This universal flaw we call sin so manifests itself in human life that even our attempts at justice wind up causing others harm. This doesn’t mean we have to give up our search for justice, but it does compel us to see that no human justice will ever be perfect (you theological types know that this is no new insight; St. Augustine and Reinhold Niebuhr have already explained it quite well).

In my case, aligning myself with that political position brought grief to other Christians, some of whom are my friends and family. My position violated certain of their deeply held theological  convictions, causing them to worry about me. Many of those on my side of the debate would say that the folks on the other side think I’m going to hell for what I believe. But that’s not right, at least not for most of the folks I know. They don’t think that my beliefs endanger my eternal salvation; they think that I’ve fallen into serious error, that I’m compromising the cause of Christ, and potentially harming the consciences of Christians over whom my views might exert influence. The friends with whom I disagree, because they care for me, have been hurt by what I’ve done.

And for that I am truly and genuinely sorry. Would I do things differently? In this case, no. Like I said, I still believe with all my heart in the justice of what I have espoused. But I also know that I am a sinner, and that for every two steps forward I take there’s going to be at least one step back. So if you are a fellow Christian on the other side of this debate, please know that if I have violated your conscience, it is simply because the only alternative was to violate mine.

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The Big Questions: Is Suffering Redemptive?

Is suffering redemptive? In Christianity’s ancient and ongoing struggle to understand how suffering could exist in a world created by an all-powerful and all-loving God, the idea that suffering exists to strengthen and purify us, to make us more fit for the Kingdom, frequently comes up. According to this way of thinking, God allows (or even sends) suffering to test our faith and resolve our character. Suffering teaches us what is genuinely important, and what is secondary; it purifies our souls and focuses our commitment. Inherent in this idea is that suffering is–or at least can be–ennobling.

Whether you say that God allows suffering to come our way or causes it to do so, in either case you’ve made God the author of our suffering–which is where I have to part company with this way of looking at things. Think about it this way: would you cause your child serious physical or emotional harm in order to “teach them a lesson?” Plenty of people do, of course, but thankfully much of the world has come to see that as child abuse. If even we can recognize such behavior for what it is, then surely God does so as well. Could we be more compassionate than God? I think not.

But while we must reject the notion that God causes suffering, we can affirm the belief that God can bring good out of suffering. When we say that God reigns over the world, one of the things we mean is that God is constantly at work to make the world look more like the Kingdom. In a world where we daily misuse our freedom to harm one another, the work of building the kingdom requires God to wrest good from the jaws of evil. As I’ve said above, God does not cause evil to happen; most of the time we’re plenty good at that on our own. But neither will God permit evil and suffering to have the last word; every day, in thousands of ways both great and small, God is bringing healing out of the world’s hurt, turning even suffering toward the coming of the Kingdom.

How does that work? In two ways, principally. First, the Holy Spirit surrounds and upholds all who suffer, offering healing. As we are able to accept that healing, it transforms us. That healing can make us wiser, more compassionate persons, better able to see and respond to the suffering of those around us. Does this make suffering, grief, and tragedy “worth it?” Of course not. This newly-found wisdom and compassion can never return those whom we’ve lost, for example. But in a flawed and chaotic world, they move us a step closer to the moment when it will be on earth as it is in heaven.

Second, whenever we respond to tragedy and suffering–whether that’s hopping on a plane to an earthquake-stricken country or taking a meal to a friend recovering from surgery–we are the agents of God’s redemption of the world. Does this mean that God can’t accomplish this work apart from us? Of course not. What it means is that God is handing us the indescribable privilege of being part of God’s great work of building the Kingdom. How sad for us if, having been given this opportunity, we choose to sit on the sidelines instead.

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God Didn’t Say That

“I don’t think it’s a good thing to kill children and babies, but God said to do it, so he must have had a good reason.”

Try to imagine a situation in which you would agree with the statement above. Try hard to come up with a scenario in which that sentence could be an accurate description of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Try as hard as you can to construct a plausible circumstance in which that could be a true statement about God’s behavior.

Can’t do it? Neither can I. Yet in a class I was teaching recently, somebody actually said that. More than one person said it. It was, in fact, the majority opinion.

The class was a study of the Old Testament, and that day we were talking about the book of Joshua. In case you spend as little time in the book of Joshua as I customarily do, I’ll give you a recap. The Israelites have completed their wandering in the wilderness. They cross the Jordan, do their dance around the walls of Jericho, emerge triumphant, and then settle down to the serious business of conquering the land of Canaan. They institute a blitzkrieg against the various Canaanite tribes, killing all the men, women, and children as they spread out to claim the land of promise. According to the text, this happens at God’s instigation, and with God’s blessing.

Which led to my question: “Why would the Israelites do such a thing?” The answer: “Because God told them to do it.” I pushed back; “Really? God told them to kill children and babies?” At this some members of the class trotted out the traditional answers to this conundrum: the Canaanites were especially wicked and deserved their fate; God needed to guarantee the purity of the Israelites’ worship, and hence had them remove all Canaanite influence; the Israelites gave the Canaanites an opportunity to convert, which they rejected. But while most folks were unable to come up with a justification, they didn’t back down in their conviction that God had instructed the Israelites to do this thing, because the Bible says that’s what God did.

And here we arrive at the heart of the matter: the Bible says. The folks in my class believe, as I do, in the authority of Scripture. In this case their conception of how that authority works has painted them into a corner. They rightly recoil at the book of Joshua’s description of a leader who claims that God has instructed God’s people to “utterly destroy” another group of people. Put that claim on the lips of anyone else, throughout history or today, and the class members would say that the leader was at the very least grossly mistaken, and probably murderously sinful. Yet put it in the Bible and it’s o.k. because, once again, the Bible says.

By approaching the authority of Scripture in a simplistic, all-or-nothing, “God says it, I believe it, that settles it” manner, Christians lead themselves into such theological absurdities as divinely-sanctioned genocide. Like I said above, I believe that the Bible is the authoritative guide to Christian belief and action. Yet admitting that the Bible is a deeply complex book, we should be willing to recognize that biblical authority is a complex matter as well. The model for those who seek to place themselves under the Bible’s authority should be Jacob at the fords of the Jabbok. If we wish to understand Scripture we must be prepared to struggle with it (even all night!), and to emerge not only blessed, but broken by the experience.

So how then should we approach biblical narratives like the book of Joshua? Let me make just a couple of suggestions. First, we have to do our biblical studies homework. The authors and editors who compiled the book of Joshua lived during or shortly after the Babylonian Exile. They believed that God had allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed largely because of the Israelites’ failure to worship Yahweh alone. They wanted to make the point that idolatry was a big problem for God. They chose to put the book of Joshua together as they did to insist that God holds final and exclusive claim to our worship. Does this justify or excuse the book of Joshua’s depiction of the killing of innocents? No. Does it make it easier to see why the authors and editors put it there? Yes.

Second, when we come upon individual passages and books that raise difficulties like this, we need a vantage point from which to approach and consider them. Martin Luther said that for Christians the gospel–by which he means God’s grace as seen in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ– provides that vantage point. If a biblical passage or story doesn’t make sense according to what we know of God in Jesus, then we’ve got to ask other questions about how that story functions as God’s word for us. Simply put, if we can’t imagine Jesus condoning the mass killing of the Canaanites (and let’s agree that we can’t imagine that, please), then we have to give up trying to find excuses for why God would order such a thing; admit that God, in fact, didn’t say that; and then ask what the story has to tell us if this is the case.

When I said above that I believe in the authority of Scripture, I meant it. When we approach Scripture with an expectation that it will speak a word from God, I believe we will hear that word. How an individual verse, passage, or book speaks that word is going to differ. “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” is pretty straightforward; this verse might challenge our commitment, but it doesn’t tax our understanding. But when it’s something like the book of Joshua, we’re going to have to wrestle the angel a good bit more if we hope to receive our blessing.

So, if the word of God from this biblical book isn’t “tough luck if you’re a Canaanite and God wants your land for someone else,” then what is it? Perhaps it’s this: The human tendency to mistake the “devices and desires of our own hearts” (as the Book of Common Prayer calls them) for the voice of God isn’t a recent development. It stretches all the way back through history, even into Scripture itself. Perhaps the word of God comes to us saying, “Shortly before the book of Joshua opens the Israelites had stood at the foot of God’s holy mountain and listened to God thunder out the covenant. If even they could make this mistake, then watch and pray that it not happen to you, gentle reader.” Perhaps this book speaks a powerful message about violence done in the name of religion, if we but have eyes to see that message’s contradiction to what lies on the book’s surface.

The Bible is a divine book because it is such a human book at the same time. It places all of human life–its highs and lows, its foibles and graces–firmly in the presence of God. It will tell us everything God has to say to us–if we’re willing to listen carefully.

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Why Theology Isn’t a Dirty Word

Lots of reasons present themselves for why you should ignore theology. It’s boring, it’s irrelevant, it stirs up needless controversy, it raises questions it never answers; the list goes on and on.

Only one reason presents itself for why you shouldn’t ignore theology: you can’t. It’s not possible.

Huh?

Theology is nothing less than looking at life through the lens of Christian faith. Any time you reach out in sympathy to someone who is hurting, recoil at the news of a senseless tragedy, or reflect on the joy of being alive, you are doing theology. Any time you wonder about what something means, why something happened, or why someone is the way they are, you are being a theologian. If “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,” then any question about life is, inevitably, a question about God. And if that’s the case, then theology is unavoidable. As my very first theology professor told us, the question isn’t whether you’re going to be a theologian or not; it’s whether you’re going to be any good at it.

But theology isn’t just necessary; it’s desirable as well (or, at least, it can be). Elsewhere I’ve written about why we must never think we can substitute theology for personal experience of God. Yet it is equally true that theology clarifies, focuses, and makes that experience more real. Remember when Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” and then, “Who do you say I am?” (emphasis added). Peter answered with a theological statement: “you are the Messiah, the son of the Living God.” This wasn’t simply repeating something he’d always heard, or spouting conventional wisdom; he was reflecting theologically on what he’d been experiencing as he traveled with Jesus. In so doing, he also shifted that experience to a new level. By making the theological judgment that Jesus is the Messiah, Peter was in essence committing himself more firmly than ever before to follow him.

And sometimes serious, hard thinking about God and the world–in other words, theology– is the only proper response to a particular situation. Ten years on now I still remember a story I heard in the days immediately following 9/11. A middle-aged emergency room nurse, a grizzled veteran of inner city trauma units, was among the rescue workers trying to locate victims among the rubble. After a long and difficult day she happened upon a couple of the chaplains at the scene, a Protestant pastor and a Roman Catholic priest. Looking intently at the them she said, “I need you to tell me something. Those people who jumped from the Towers; was that suicide? I need to know the answer.” Lying behind her question was the widespread (and mistaken) belief that suicide is an unforgivable sin. In the midst of all that destruction, as she sought to care for the victims of the attack, she wanted to know what God was going to do about the ones beyond her care. Without hesitating the priest replied, “They were trying to save their lives, not end them. Right now God is enfolding them in his arms and wiping away their tears.” That answer remains one of the most profoundly pastoral and theological things I’ve ever heard.

Do people want to hear tired, trite, irrelevant theological platitudes? No. Do they want to hear a living word from the Lord? Yes. When they do, they need a good theologian. Want to apply for the job?

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What I learned after they said those two words

“Brain tumor.” Among the many words you don’t want to hear come out of the mouth of a doctor, these are pretty high up on the list. Even the mitigating words “non-malignant” and “operable” don’t make things a lot better, especially when you hear the news for the first time. We heard those words from my wife’s doctor in the ER less than 2 weeks ago. This morning finds us less than 24 hours on this side of what appears to have been a successful surgery to remove the tumor. In the days, hours, and minutes in between, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I want from God in this situation, and what I can expect.

A good friend of mine who is a professional pastoral counselor let me in on the dirty little secret of times like this: “whatever happens, God will be with you” doesn’t cut it. When it’s your loved one being wheeled off to the operating room, that statement strikes you as weak and inadequate. You don’t want assurance or comfort; you want certitude. You want to know that everything is going to be o.k. You want God to say “I’m going to fix this,” meaning make everything the way it was, arrange things the way you would if you were in charge.

Except that doesn’t happen. Now, I’m a theologian, so it’s my job to ask why that’s the case– but I’m not going to do so. Much, much better theologians than me, going all the way back to the author of the book of Job, have tried and failed to answer that question adequately. More importantly, when you’re in the middle of a situation like this, knowing the answer wouldn’t help. For whatever reason, we cannot know without question or doubt that what we want is going to happen. God doesn’t work that way. Ask me why later.

Recognizing that fact, yet still wanting with all my being to know beyond question that God was going to make Joan all better, that nothing would go wrong, has been my struggle. Admitting that struggle has brought me the only modicum of peace I’ve known throughout the last couple of weeks. When I told God, “look, I know you can’t promise what I want, but I’m going to tell you anyway . . . ,” I felt better. Did that feeling last? No. Did I have to repeat that prayer time after time, knowing that God wasn’t the one who had to keep hearing it? Yes. Has God sustained me in ways that I will never understand and can only barely recognize? Unquestionably.

On the morning of the surgery our pastors Carol and Mark were sitting with us as we waited for Joan to go back to the OR. I thought about their care and concern for her, as well as my own and that of all our friends and family. Then I realized that “God is with you, whatever happens” means that God, too, felt all that love, concern, and worry for Joan, and so much more beyond. God is experiencing that same thing every moment for anyone who is going through pain, worry, or grief, all across this sad little globe. From the moment I heard those two ugly words, “brain tumor,” I wanted the anxiety and worry to go away. Yet God willingly accepts that same hurt for each of us all the time. We must be inexpressibly precious to God for God to go to all that trouble and grief for us. I cannot imagine how that can be the case, how God can take on the suffering of the world that way.

But sitting in a quiet room in ICU, with my bandaged and beloved one resting, I’m trying to learn.

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Harry Potter is Not Jesus

Like you, the family and I have turned in our last midnight appearance at the unveiling of a Harry Potter book or movie. Click here to see my article on why everybody’s favorite boy wizard isn’t a Christ figure.

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