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‘m sure you’re thinking, “Scripture is great and all but isn’t a blog that is only about Scripture merely a artificial construct that bolsters an appearance of spiritual interest while really serving to shield more personal spiritual and emotional and social sensitivities?”

Well, that’s a good question. And I’m glad you asked. I guess all I have to say in response is “Mind your own business.”

Though, that wouldn’t be at all polite and really would go against the atmosphere here. So, I take it back. I’m sorry. I guess it’s just Thursday prickliness.

But, really it is odd to even me that I’m not writing other things. My goal this year was to really write about Scripture and see what came out, but that’s not all I’m interested in.

So, here’s more of an update with me. In case you’re wondering, of course. Though, if you weren’t why would you be reading this? I guess I could give stock tips at the end, but that would really do more to confirm why I ended up going to seminary rather than business school.

I’ve been taking a couple of classes, both which stretch two sides of my spiritual life.

The first class is my intellectual class, though I see it as a key class for my ministry development as well. It’s on the theology of Jurgen Moltmann. Now I’m sure you’ve read all his books, but for that other fellow (no, not you. the other guy) who hasn’t, Moltmann is considered one of the top theologians of the last half century. German fellow who found Christ while in a British prisoner of war camp at the end of WWII. He’s quite brilliant and creative… more so than I can keep up with really.

The book we studied this past week he titled, “The Crucified God”. In it he re-examines what was going on at the cross. The cross really is the center of all Christian theology, but what does it mean. Not in a philosophic or apologetic sense. What did it mean that Jesus died on the cross, God and man? Yes, he died for our sins. But what does that really mean?

The key aspect of this is to see Christ as embracing suffering. In his suffering he identifies with those in the world who are suffering. Where was God in Auschwitz, Moltmann asks. That is the point of the cross. Jesus was in the middle of it, enduring and sharing all the evil and the pain and the darkness, taking on all of it so that we can identify with him in our suffering. We find a companion with Jesus in our suffering, whether that be social, or financial, or physical, or emotional. But we also find more. His is the promise of resurrection. The God who suffered is the God who resurrected, enduring all the pain. We are given hope. This is not only a hope that our past is cleansed and we are forgiven. No. The cross is that, but it is more than that. The cross is the reality that our past and our future and our present are redeemed. We experience the suffering of our present with the hope that God is freeing us even now. There is light. There is more to this existence. The God who shares our suffering came down in the midst of our darkness and in the middle of where we are at he acted. Nothing is beyond his reach now. He is not the distant God who smites and blesses from afar. He’s among us. He’s with us. Where is he in the pain? He is with us, sharing the pain, knowing the fears and hurts.

That is the cross. It is not a distant confusing conception of some legal transaction. It is God among us, enduring what we endure, taking on suffering to join us in our suffering to lift us out of our suffering so that we can become brothers with him and enjoy the fruits of eternal life, even now as the Spirit ministers to us.

God understands. God is with us, with every part of us, in the darkness and the light. That is the cross.

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