The darkness of Advent and communal lament

“Unlike American Christianity, the Bible is not individualistic, but thoroughly social in its orientation. When the Church groans with Isaiah, ‘Thou hast hid they face far from us,’ it speaks as a corporate body with a common lot. If one suffers, all suffer.” — Fleming Rutledge, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Christ 

The lesson of suffering

When I was in Ethiopia teaching Wisdom Literature, we spent a lot of time in Job. I asked the class one day, “What have you learned from Job, or learned from suffering?” One student answered: “Suffering is an opportunity to upgrade my faith.” I learn far more teaching in Ethiopia than I can give out.Continue reading “The lesson of suffering”

Learning to weep with those weep

I  will never have the whole Middle East thing figured out. (That will disappoint many conservative friends… and that’s just the way it is.) My heart breaks with the news I hear, the posts I read from missionaries, the posts I read from the churches in those areas. Rather than identify with those suffering, weContinue reading “Learning to weep with those weep”