Our church has been running a very intense series of sermons on “Knowing God’s World”. I do not use the word “intense” lightly. We have covered a whole host of issues: life, death, relationships, sex – so far it’s been all through the lens of Genesis and the story of creation and over the next few weeks we will be getting into the other key texts in the bible that shed light on how Christians understand the world we live in. The sermons have been long and have always followed up by extensive questions, so every week our service has run overtime!
Last night was possibly the most confronting sermon so far. It was on God’s provision for his world (looking mainly at Psalm 104 and Matthew 6), which got us into the controversial question of “how is a good God in control when evil things are happening?” Andrew, our minister, handled the whole topic very well, and gave me a very helpful framework for understanding and better articulating my own thoughts (see my old post Scrubs and Suffering). I know and know of many people who have been burnt by Christians (I’m sure this includes me!) giving unsatisfying and even hurtful answers to the question of suffering. I’m hoping that this sharpening of ideas helps me to stop doing that.
The most powerful moment so far however, was not last night’s sermon but the week before. It was the story of Adam and Eve, humanity’s first rebellion. By the end of the sermon I felt drained thinking about the waste and weight of sin. And then we watched this video, which retold the story with such painfully beautiful poetry that I felt empty in my stomach.
The recordings of the sermons will eventually be up on the church website if anyone is interested in hearing them. I’ll post up a link when they are available.