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Suffering…. and the Lord’s Table

These weeks I’m thinking a lot about the sorts of things that have the potential to damage or cripple a person’s faith. Or even the faith of an entire community.

Like:
– When it seems like one bit of bad news after another keeps coming from the doctor.
– When we watch a gentle, innocent person victimized in some way.
– When we’re stuck in a trap of poverty – really stuck. And the bills keep flooding in at a rate greater than our ability to deal with them.
– Or living with fallout from the accident.
– Or a family member who is, for whatever reason, such a challenge to live with.

And we wonder – “Why?”
“Why, Lord, does it have to be so?”
“Why so hard?”
“Why no relief?”

When we are truly getting bashed around by the bad things of life, our faith can be busted up pretty badly, too.

It’s something that we continually wonder about.
This Sunday we’ll be digging into the topic at KCRC with
Faithbusters #2…. When Bad Things Happen.

Hope you can join us.

In the meantime, let me say that I am deeply grateful that we’ll be able to tackle the topic in the context of a worship service where we celebrate Holy Communion.
At the table we’ll remember Jesus come to earth as man – his body broken, his blood shed to take away the sin of this world that groans as in childbirth (Romans 8:22).
He is the One who will, one day, make everything new (Revelation 21:5).

And THAT, for me, is the focus I need to keep when thinking about injustice, pain, and so much unexplainable suffering in life.

I want to keep that focus, rather than throwing away my faith.
I want to cling even tighter to a faith that trusts in a God who loves this broken world SO much that he descended into it, becoming part of it, to set in motion eternal heavenly events that will one day set the Cosmos totally free of sin & decay.

And so, whatever else I think and do, I try to remind myself – and want to encourage you, dear reader – that we take our pain, our hard experiences, our struggles – to the cross of Jesus.
Bring them to the place where God became human, and where he experienced the very worst of injustice, of suffering, of weakness, and of death.
It is here, at the Communion Table, where we take part in Christ’s broken body and shed blood that we are deeply confronted with the reality that pain, evil and suffering are so strong, and the hold they have are so deep, that God himself needs to come to deal with it.
Personally.

Don’t ever say God doesn’t care about pain or suffering or death.
He cared enough to die for it.

When we waver, let’s run as fast as we can to the Table of the Lord.
And there, at the Table, remember:
with the cross comes the resurrection.

Remember what we say at the end of every single worship service?
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

I totally believe that suffering needs an eternal perspective to find a true answer.
And I encourage you to think that way.
Think big picture.
Think eternity.

We’ll not ever fully get it figured out.
Not on this side of glory.
But we can trust that, somehow, he will. And does.

God’s grace and peace be with you.

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