Becoming a Healing Presence: Suffering and Death, pt.1

This Tuesday we will be looking at Chapter 8 “Suffering and Death” of Dr. Albert S. Rossi’s book Becoming a Healing Presence.  Our calling to become a healing presence assumes that everyone has a part of their life that must be healed.  In other words, everyone is suffering, and our calling is to heal that suffering. The fundamental question, however, is why do we suffer. In Deuteronomy 28, Moses says that if we obey God, we will be blessed, and if we disobey God we will suffer.  But, as the teacher in Ecclesiastes points out, death ultimately comes for everyone (Eccl. 2:14), and often the righteous perish because they are righteous, and evil-doers prosper and prolong their life because of their evil doings (Eccl. 7:15).  And then there is the story of Job.  Job is a blameless man who suffers horribly. Job 1. And as he suffers he calls out to God to ask why. God’s only response is “Who are you to question me.” In legal terms, God says Job lacks the jurisdiction to lodge a complaint. Job 38-42.  But then we have Jesus. Jesus who is God, and Jesus who suffers and dies. The great stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:23) is that therefore God also suffers and dies as we do.  God still doesn’t provide us with the answer, but he does say 1) that he has suffered as we have suffered, and 2) death and suffering are not the end.

SCHEDULE: This Monday (May 21) is Anna Grace’s senior voice recital at 6:30 at Trinity.  We would love for everyone to join us.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is roast pork and apples. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected . . . . He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”

Mark 8:31, 34-35

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