Friday, 16 January 2015

Crucial Theology (and kudos to Rev. Daniel Erlander)

Scripture: Psalm 10:12-14

"Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed. Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts, 'You will not call us to account'? But you do see! Indeed, you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan."


The psalmist confesses what she has experienced to be true about God, even as she prays that it will continue to be true now for those desperate for God's saving action. "Indeed, you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands..."

Sometimes, we are tempted to try to protect God. We imagine that God must play by the rules of the world as it is in our daily experiences. So, like a mother shooing her children away from the hot burners on the stovetop, we say in our hearts to God "you can't touch that, it will hurt you!" Because we imagine that God must always be all powerful and incapable of harm, we automatically assume that this somehow entails God avoiding things that are beneath the divine: things like suffering, pain, poverty and want.

This is the great scandal of the cross of Christ Jesus. God is most clearly revealed to us in the one who seems to prefer the company of the miserable. God is shown to be willing and able to go to any and every length - going to death and hell and back - to achieve God's vision for a restored creation full of right relationships.

Pastor Daniel Erlanger puts it this way in "Baptized We Live":
"We do not find God. God finds us - in our darkness, our pain, our emptiness, our loneliness, our weakness."


God takes risks to stand with people who need help and protection.
Today I will let go (ever-so-slightly) of the will to be invulnerable. Today I will risk getting my hands dirty and my heart wrung.

What about you? 

Where have you been surprised to see God reaching out to 

you, despite the cost? 

Where is God challenging you and giving you the gifts of

wisdom and protection to take risks in service of the 

Divine mission to redeem the world through loving service?


Father God, you never the glorification of suffering - for suffering's sake. Yet, Your parenting love for all Your creatures is so beautifully revealed to us through Your Son - Jesus Christ. Persevere us, we pray, along the risky path of following Him into solidarity with all those who are oppressed and forgotten by the world. Amen.

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