Sunday, August 28, 2005

Master's Eve

We just got home from a great barbecue. A lot of our friends from college and church have moved away to parts south, Salt Lake City and further. So we all got together today; it was pretty fun to see our good friends and promise to meet again for games and dinner and good times. I hope something will come of it. Anyway, we have found another couple to enjoy Settlers of Catan with.

A massive disaster like Hurricane Katrina never fails to provoke questions about the providence of God; how can a good God lay waste to the creation without compunction? Is God so far removed from the world that he cannot hear our cries for mercy as the 150 mph winds bear down? Why believe in such a dastardly God at all?

These are hard questions, but I will venture a response: "the creation groans". Christians believe that the world is a fallen world, corrupted by evil done by human beings and other enemies of God. It is a battleground where misery wars with joy. Christians will often put it that God will respond to evil with greater good; you could also say that this means that God makes wins out of losses.

It is an interesting kind of thing to say that God can lose, even though he is all-powerful, all-knowing. Those seem like insurmountable advantages. Christians might say that God is powerful enough to lose, loving enough to lose. In some way, that is what Jesus of Nazareth on the Roman cross is about. It's a paradox of my religion that God's power is made manifest in God's weakness.

What forces God released when he decided to become powerless, we don't know the half of.

Of course, my religion also plays host to preachers who think that God sends hurricanes to protest Gay Day.

The atheist answer seems to be that we should not demand justice from a capricious universe.

Sarah just asked me these same questions; I think I tried to tell her what I just wrote here. But it's hard to say, in these broken words.

Tomorrow another life begins for me. I'm off to seek my fortune.

Tonight, let's pray in God's way: powerless to defeat this hurricane, releasing forces we do not understand, in love.

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