One of the most enduring difficulties for Christian faith is the problem of evil. Put simply, it’s this. How can a good and omnipotent God have created a universe in which there is so much pain, sorrow, and undeserved suffering? Does not the existence of so much human travail in fact deny the existence of God?
“I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” (John 1: 48) It’s easy to assume, as most folks do, that spirituality is a personal choice, that we can choose our religion kind of the same way we’d choose clothes or a computer or a phone. But what if it’s the other way round? What if spirituality isn’t so much about us trying on different religious systems to see what works best for us, but rather about God seeking to find us? What if God sees us, kind of like Jesus sees Nathaniel, before we know we’re seen?
Oh Bible you are not the easiest book to build a faith on! Sometimes you are like a dear, close friend giving words of encouragement and love – do not be afraid, come to me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest, I have called you by name you are mine.
Between the words that are spoken and the words that are heard, may there be peace. Today we are going to explore the cross, in what I hope will be a different perspective for us all. To begin, the cross, this holy symbol of Christianity has many different meanings to different people.
I can actually think of a long list of reasons why I would not want to follow Jesus, and todays Gospel is at the top of that list.