Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Over and over and over again...

Sometimes messages are repeated over, and over, and over. This week’s EFM Lesson was that way. The crux of which was one of suffering and how we relate it to our understanding of God.

For unspecified reasons, I identified with this lesson and spent quite a bit more time on it than normal. I looked at the Holocaust from a Jewish perspective, read a little about Rambam, got into theodicy, and looked into evil. Even went back and reread Job, one of my favorite books of the Bible; along with Isaiah, Wisdom and the Gospels. The commentary for Sunday’s reading in my 2009 Lenten Meditations by ERD asked the question “… is God present in the terrible things, too?” Then I got an email from one of our group members this morning addressing the concept once more (an article from Slate by its editor David Plotz).

During Lent our Parish joins with 4 other Downtown Churches (Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist & Presbyterian) for ecumenical weekly Lenten Worship. A pastor from another denomination preaches at the host Church on a rotating basis and members of all 5 congregations join and listen together. It makes for some interesting messages. This noon we were host Parish and addressed by one of my favorites, the Pastor of First Presbyterian. He’s about my age and can throw a “hand grenade” better that even I (and that’s high praise indeed – just ask any of our EFM Group members).

Seems Jimmy spoke, yet again, on this week’s lesson. More references to the Book of Job, and more other thoughts than I could handle in a 12 minute homily. Two of his more salient ones were:
Good Friday Prayers are as important as those of praise.”
And “You can’t get to the prayer: ‘Into Thy hands I commend my Spirit.’ without first crying: ‘Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani’.”

Yeah Lord, I hear You.
Redemption is easy, you only have to die.


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