Struggling in Struggling Christianity immediately
For today's musical pairing The Sound of the Revelation of the Divine by Kjartan Sveinsson. See video below.
"Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in astonishment and asked his advisers:" Weren't there three men we tied up and threw into the fire? "They replied:" Sure, Your Majesty. "He said:" Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods. "
Daniel 3: 24-25
Day 7,511,603 confirmed cases, 22,993 deaths worldwide.
The suffering in this present moment is not recorded in numbers and numbers. In addition to the loss of life is the loss of livelihood, the loss of innocence, the loss of feeling of security. The smell of fear is in the air, and in the midst of the pandemic, our epidemic of loneliness is growing deeper.
Suffering tends to isolate. It can take us away from the community, stand out from the crowd, and remove all of our distractions, illusions, and consolations. Nobody can experience our pain for us. Nobody can take it away. Nobody can cover it with soothing words or glittering ideas. Even if we suffer together, we suffer alone.
"The most terrible poverty is loneliness," wrote Mother Teresa, "and the feeling of being unloved." Now the pandemic has made our mental isolation physical. We are in a forced loneliness where our fears and fears reverberate in the void. We hurt the presence of others.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were bound together and hurled into the furnace, and they emerged unbound and unscathed. God met her in the fire. Christians are not wrong to read history in the light of the Incarnation. Christ has sunk into our condition. He presented himself to us. Christ entered our sufferings and brought the love of God with us.
God does not empty our lives from suffering, but he fills our suffering with himself. In his book The Crucified God Jürgen Moltmann writes: “Suffering in suffering is the lack of love, and the wounds in wounds are abandonment and impotence in pain there is unbelief. ”There will come a day when the last tear will be shed and the last wound will be healed. Until then, God has made himself present in our suffering.
At the end of the day, we are all alone before God. But that only means that we are not alone at all. We stand alone in front of the one who brought us into love, who calls us home in love and who even fills the furnace with his loving presence. Per Moltmann: "The suffering of abandonment is overcome by the suffering of love, which is not afraid of the sick and ugly, but accepts it and takes it in to heal it."
Thank you, Lord, for being with us in our hour of need. Thank you for making yourself present in all the depth and depth of our suffering. May we also step into the suffering of others and be carriers of your love there.
The corridor through the sea
The Corridor through the Sea is a series of daily meditations by the President and CEO of Christianity Today, written specifically for those suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. It will address our feeling of fear and isolation, and the way we find beauty and truth and hope – and Christ Himself – in the midst of suffering. The title of the column alludes to the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. We are a people who have been released from our slavery to sin, but we live between where we have been and where we should be. There is danger on both sides, but our hope and belief is that God will deliver us through the sea and into the land of promise.
Timothy Dalrymple is President and CEO of Christianity Today. Follow him on Twitter @TimDalrymple_.
The corridor through the sea pillars: