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The Cross And Evil: Jesus and His Cry of Abandonment

Psalm 22:1-2; 23-24, NRSV
Mark 15:33-34, NRSV

Reflections

ON a Thursday morning a few months ago, I got a call from my doctor’s assistant telling me that I have Stage 4 cancer. The stomach cramps I was suffering from were not caused by a faulty gallbladder, but by a massive tumor. I am 35.

…a neighbor knocked on our door to tell my husband that everything happens for a reason.

“I’d love to hear it,” my husband said.

“Pardon?” she said, startled.

“I’d love to hear the reason my wife is dying,” he said, in that sweet and sour way he has. My neighbor wasn’t trying to sell him a spiritual guarantee. But there was a reason she wanted to fill that silence around why some people die young and others grow old and fussy about their lawns. She wanted some kind of order behind this chaos. Because the opposite of #blessed is leaving a husband and a toddler behind, and people can’t quite let themselves say it: “Wow. That’s awful.” There has to be a reason, because without one we are left as helpless and possibly as unlucky as everyone else.

— Kate Bowler, assistant professor, Duke Divinity School from a column in the NYTimes, 2/13/16 entitled “Death, the Prosperity Gospel, and Me”

  • Ordinary Darkness
  • Try to be present to the Lord in pain
  • Pain/sorrow is part of life
  • We can try to avoid it, but its effect is making us numb
  • Or stay at superficial level like the neighbor in the NYTimes article
  •  

  • Look at the pain, suffering, sorrow and evil thru the cross
  • Reality of evil
  • Some say God is good, some say God is not, so really beauty & brokenness come together
  • But this is not the end
  •  

  • Seed of redemption
  • Trust while in the darkness, we will wait in hope

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