As I finish another week of work at the Public Defender's Office, and move into the weekend. And, as I begin to prepare for Sunday worship, and consider all that is going on in my family's life and in life around me in this world, I am moved to say:
"The way we boil it all down real nice and simple in our churches is simply false, and is not the true Gospel of God."
My prayers last night as I was awake in the middle of the night had nothing in common with the confident affirmations of faith we make in worship, nor did it have much in common with the great majority of our hymns in the Presbyterian Hymnal.
But, my prayers last night had a real resonance with some of the Psalms and with Ecclesiates. And, I got a certain feeling of resolution in all of this. And, it is the resolution that may not make many religious people happy. What I came to last night was that God is very, very good, completely and utterly on the side of all that supports and helps life, and against all that twists and destroys life. But, at the same time, I got a strong feeling that God cannot affect things so simply as we have often imagined in the church. I got the feeling that maybe God cannot prevent some suffering and pain in this world, but that God suffers some of this with us. I didn't say I believe that God can do nothing about suffering and pain, but that I am coming to believe that the way God is in relation to his creation, there is much in creation that is simply not really under God's control. But, I believe that God's Spirit continues to work to create and bring that which is against life under God's rule. At the present time, it seems to be the case that much in this world, even in our personal lives, is simply not under our good Creator's rule.