At the end of the letter of 1 Peter, the Apostle Peter sends greetings to his recipients from “She who is in Babylon (1 Peter 5:12).” This is an odd phrase, especially when one considers that the city of Babylon was little more than a byword, when Peter wrote. However, this brief phrase speaks volumes to those who suffer in Christ.Continue reading
No one likes to suffer. When given a choice between suffering or maintaining a sense of peace and tranquility, almost all will want to choose the latter. This makes sense. We were never meant to be at home with pain and suffering. Pain and suffering did not exist in Eden (Genesis 2:4-25). Nor will it exist in the New Heaven and New Earth, where there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 24:4). Our hearts naturally desire to be in a state of peace, harmony, and tranquility, where suffering and pain are eliminated.Continue reading
When I was a Youth Director, my good friend and mentor was diagnosed with breast cancer. Miss Debby, as she was affectionately called, had been the Christian Education Director and director of the church’s daycare and school for decades. She never married or had any children of her own. Her life was fully dedicated to Christ and nurturing children and adults alike. Miss Debby suffered two rounds of chemo over the next year. It was hard on her. It was hard for us to watch. Continue reading
Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
I like to fix things. Most people do. It is a facet of our humanity that we create and repair. Life is short. And in our short sinful imperfect lives we are called by God to be co-regents, to participate in the restoration of the Kingdom of God in the here and now. So how do you and I repair/restore the world together; how do we repair ourselves, the people in the complex and paradoxical world in which we live? Continue reading
Millions of Pacific Salmon migrate from their saltwater sea home to inland freshwater streams and rivers every year. They often traverse hundreds of miles against the current, facing barriers, predators, sudden shifts in temperature, and many other obstacles to reach their destination. Many do not make it, but those who do die within days or weeks of their arrival. Continue reading
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” were some of the words Jesus cried from the cross (Matthew 27:46).
It is easy to look up to God, when our lives are filled with gladness. But, what about those times when we are at the absolute end of our robe, like life is ebbing away (cp. Job 30:16)? When prayers seem to go unanswered (cp. Job 30:20)? When we seem to suffer at no fault of our own (cp. Job 29:11-17; 30:1)? Continue reading