Thursday, September 01, 2005

Worshipping Grief

Last week's sermon was about the difference between forgiveness and pardon. It discussed why Yeshua had to suffer so much.

This discussion going around the blogosphere puts similar issues in a very different context. Do people who have suffered have higher moral authority? That sounds quite un-American and un-democratic. Rephrased: does suffering produce moral wisdom?

Sadly, it doesn't. Occasionally suffering prompts people to stop and think more. But just as often it prompts people to mindless vengeance.

God's plan is not that we need to suffer to grow wise, but that we can identify with him and his suffering, to avoid the need for our own suffering.

The novel The Bridge to Terabithia ends with a character inspired to live in the way a virtuous friend would have lived. He will put into the world what the friend would have, because the world needs it. The same plot is how we are supposed to think of suffering and Yeshua.