First a confessions. I was pretty harsh on the people who didn’t leave in this post. While I’m a firm believer people should be responsible for their own survival, not everyone had the means to leave beforehand. And many didn’t have the means afterwards once it became clear the city was destroyed.
Once again our politics get wed to our self-righteous religion and the message of Christ gets deformed and defamed.
My wife didn’t like the idea of a weak God from Bonnhoffer via Waiter Rant the other day. But I think Bonnhoffer would say he isn’t so much weak as he is present. God set things up. He created a world full of people he could love. Unfortunately those people screwed it up. And now like a loving father he’s letting some hard things take their course and lots of people are getting hurt.
He understands that because he’s an all knowing God. But he also understands it because he’s been there. To show us he understands, he wrote himself into our world and took more pain and suffering than we can imagine to show us he understands.
Sometimes I think we Christians are so focused on his suffering that we miss when things got rough for Jesus. Coming down the birth canal. And then he got to live in a world full of pain and death and suffering. He wants to show us how to live in that world.
When he left us he left part of himself here that he called the Comforter. The Holy Spirit had been around before, he was part of the Godhead of creation and worked actively all through the history of man. But Jesus wanted us to understand he knew life is hard. And God is there.
That’s what Waiter and Bonhoffer were talking about. When an old woman is drowning, abandoned by her family and friends, she isn’t alone. When the Nazi walk a radical Luthern Pastor to the firing line to make sure he gets executed before the Allies finish off their reign of terror, he isn’t alone. When the Son of God hangs on a cross, abandoned and alone, he isn’t alone.
In Touched By An Angel, there was the character Andrew, the Angel of Death. But he wasn’t a grim reaper, he was there to walk you through the final moments. That’s how God would do it. Death sucks and can last a long time, but when it is over, God’s got something better planned for you.