Tag Archives: death

Thoughtful Thursday: An Almighty, Good God Allows an Evil World?

Human Brutality, one of the World's worst evils.

Here is a response to a difficult subject: Evil and human suffering. Your comments are valuable here. Thanks for reading.

The following are comments from a former classmate Marty Schoffstall as placed within the comment section on blog site of Theology Professor Ken Miller.

From Marty:

Dr. Dorsey [professor of Old Testament Studies] says that the story of the prophets (a rather large portion of the canon) looks like this:

(1) God Is Allowing Wickedness…
For a season…. and the wicked to succeed in their opposition to Him to temporarily triumph over Him (and over those loyal to Him). He may allow them to spurn Him, mock Him, humiliate him, or persecute those who remain loyal to Him.

(2) God is redirecting their evil….
to accomplish his own good purposes. The deeds of the wicked play into God’s hands and are used by God to further his own semi-secret agenda. [During this time when evil appears to prevail], God’s children are encouraged to: (a) Trust God, (b) Wait patiently for the time when God will intervene and right all wrongs, (c) Remain loyal and obedient to him.

(3) Finally, God dramatically intervenes…
to defeat his enemies. God is vindicated the wicked are punished; and those loyal to God are rewarded.

Now as my old friend friend Dr. Cunningham from UVA who was a very competent Roman Catholic Theologian on the side used to say:

“…mercy and justice are always in tension. We want mercy for ourselves, and justice for the other…”

Eventually we grow a little wiser and want some mercy for the other as well; however, we can never give up the concept of justice completely. Some decisions are so revolting (like genocide) that they must rigorously opposed, some people are so broken (like serial killers, serial kidnappers, etc) that we invest enormous time and money in the criminal justice system to stop them, they are horribly corrosive to society, they must be stopped.

How do you respond?

The Precious Rest

early twilight

I was allured by this Flickr picture the second I saw it. It seemed beautiful, yet also strange. A genuine napping red fox in a field of tall clovers? Curious.

The image info told that it was indeed this fox’s last rest. Possibly rabies did him in. What a mournful occasion, but what a comely little beast.

(I apologize that I haven’t been able to find the image again, to properly link to the artist. If anyone can help me with that, I’d appreciate it.)

Come to Rest

From madness to rest

You’ve wandered too far and then too close

You’ve grown weary

You find yourself in the soft clover

Feeling the pull of death’s slumber

There is some precious beauty about you

In this early twilight

In your last breaths

In your grassy bed

So fragile, mortal, yielding

What was wild and fierce, unpredictable

Now laid down, quieted, helpless

Will you awake in another field with new rabbits?

Will you suffer no more?

Lay your head down

Come to Rest

Your thoughts or comments are welcome.

Nothing says Crucifixion like pastry!

Being Crucified with Christ has never been so Sweet!

Yes, this is “Something Christians Like” in Jon Acuff style… you can’t make stuff like this up.
Besides the Lamb cake, (Lamb of God or maybe spring lamb… the jury is still out. See previous post.) my sis also brought over a Crucifix Pastry. She said a local Catholic-owned bakery in Mt. Lebanon (PA) makes super, delicious products, including religious themed items.

(To be honest, I found it a bit dry. This was remedied by dunking it in good coffee, and soothing myself with chocolate.)

I can’t help but wonder, if Jesus Christ had died by stoning, would it have looked like a pile of stones? Or, if the electric chair had been around…. oh never mind.

What do you think about religious baked goods?
1. No way-Not for me!
2. Not sure.
3. Delicious!
4. Other ___________ (explain)

God vs. death

 

by: Michael Busselle

 

Tonight in class Dr Buckwalter discussed how the plagues of Egypt each took on an Egyptian god. God was showing his power and supremacy to his people who had been exposed to what seemed like amazingly powerful gods, of fertility, health, etc. The final plague was a display over the power of life and death itself. This shocking plague, brought the Pharaoh to his knees, as it defeated his most powerful deity in one swift shot. He sent his throngs of free labor away.

As the nation of Israel fled, Pharaoh reconsidered. Pharaoh’s armies charged, and pinned the ambulating nation between the sea and the force of Egypt’s finest military. The sea didn’t just promise a watery interruption, but certain death. For the people of those times, and many today, the sea is still a symbol of death. Without rescue, none can survive her.

Narrative speaks volumes to us here. At the linear climax what happens? What does God do? Does he send legions of angels to lay waste to the huge army? Does he cause a sound or distraction that confuses the approaching troops? Does he smite the army with blindness? No. All these would have saved his people, and all  were miracles implemented at certain times in biblical narrative. What does he choose to show them?

He shows them, that he is trustworthy. They need not even fear death. He does the impossible, and creates a dry path right through death itself. He holds back the deadly waters, and dries up the land beneath. Animals, children, mothers, fathers, fearful youth, elderly women, and all the rest can simply stroll through, and away from impending danger. This would not just save them, but penetrate them with symbolism that would hit hard–very hard.

What giants are in your way, and how might you respond with this story in mind?

Want to take part? Leave your thoughts, reflections, or feedback of any kind.

AND~Feel free to promote your blog, or current project as well.

Thanks for reading.

Peace with God (A Prayer)

 

Peace with God

(Prayer)

(Written for individuals, or use in hospice, end of life, or redemptive ministry.)

God,

I know you are my Creator, and I am not simply material that will return to the earth.

I desire peace with you, and to lay my burdens down.

(Here one may add specific concerns, guilt, offenses, or things that have made one’s heart heavy.)

I know you offer me relief, forgiveness, grace, and acceptance, freely–as a gift. I gratefully receive this from you.

You are the Highest, a Three-in-One God, who made me. Out of pure love, you redeemed me before time began, and during human history through the life, death, and resurrection of your Incarnation, The Christ, and you will comfort me with your Presence now. As I leave this world, receive me into your most loving Presence.

I am your child, coming to you.

Amen.

(Download your own copy for use, or distribution click here)

Advent Meditation-Day Spring

Today, we’ll reflect on the arrival of Jesus as Day Spring. It is a strange visual for winter, and of course, Jesus was not actually born at the time of year when we celebrate his birth. But, the reminder of hope and new birth at the time of darkest night during the winter season is powerful indeed.

3rd verse of O come, O come, Emmanuel -written in the 12th century (in Latin). Translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer


Our spirits by Thine advent here


Disperse the gloomy clouds of night


And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel


Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Please leave your comments, or thoughts. 

thank you for coming by. Happy Advent to you.