Suffering and Grace

38 posts

Children of the Resurrection

Proper 27 (32) (November 10, 2019) – Audio For he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to God all are alive. Amen.  It is perhaps not so common now, but for centuries in the Christian world a common criticism leveled at someone was that they are being “Pharisaical.” Even today, in some circles, you will hear people criticize other kinds of Christians as being “like the Pharisees.” This derives, of […]

All Saints’ Day 2019 – Beautiful & Terrible Things

It is perhaps fitting that first thing Friday morning, the First of November, All Saints’ Day, Editor Jessica sent me the final draft of Beautiful & Terrible Things. The book is written, edited, and now awaits copy editing, formatting, and marketing. Coming in at 164 pages and 51,800 words, I hope it is not overly long or too anemic. Today I had the privilege to hear Dr. Peter Kreeft speak on the question of suffering […]

Do I believe?

An excerpt from my forthcoming book, Beautiful and Terrible Things. In the months following Mack’s death I would not say that I had a crisis of faith, but I certainly felt a general malaise. I was writing about Mack’s death and my faith in his/our resurrection, and at the same time there was no doubt that I felt a pall over me. Then we decided to go to my parents’ church for Easter. The reading […]

Inhabiting our Exile

As usual, it is probably better heard than read. The audio is here. Proper 23 (28) (October 9, 2016) First reading and Psalm Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 Psalm 66:1-12Second reading 2 Timothy 2:8-15Gospel Luke 17:11-19 “The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him” It is tempting to preach from the Epistle for today, but as a textual scholar, Paul’s injunction “warn them before God that they are to […]

God in the Storm: Season of Creation Week 3

“Where is your faith?” God in the Storm: Season of Creation Week 3 – September 15, 2019, St. Raphael’s Lexington This congregation was working through the “Season of Creation” lectionary. The readings were Job 28:20-27, Ps. 29, 1 Corinthians 1:21-31, and Luke 8:22-25. Some of the commentaries online (here and here) have a woeful misreading of Job, “God discovered wisdom imbedded in nature.” (Perhaps written by the same person?) I may post something another time […]

Why “It is better to go to the house of mourning.”

This quote comes from Ecclesiastes which I have been working with (as I strive to finish my book by the August 1 deadline!). For the first time I noticed the rest of the verse. It is better to go to the house of mourningthan to go to the house of feasting;for this is the end of everyone,and the living will lay it to heart. Ecclesiastes: 7:2  “For this is the end of everyone and the […]

The Color Green

Green is not life It is not verdant, growth, eternal It is not a leaf or a clover It is nothing but Green is a color, a slice of spectrum Green is not those other things It is color, frequency, not even universal Some see gray, some see nothing at all Still they know life, growth, eternal Green is just a color Green is a memory Blue is bluer with green It is promise, hope, […]

Suffering: “Our net of meaning is too small.”

To the ‘why’ of suffering we get no firm answer. Of course some suffering is easily seen to be the result of our sin: war, assault, poverty amidst plenty, the hurtful word. And maybe some is chastisement. But not all. The meaning of the remainder is not told us. It eludes us. Our net of meaning is too small. There’s more to our suffering than our guilt. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, (Grand Rapids, […]

Charles Darnell Brady ✠ 26 March 1937 – 18 April 2019

This past week family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of my father, Charles Darnell Brady, and affirm our faith in the resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus our Savior and the transformation of our own death into life. The audio from the entire service can be found here. Click on these links for the audio (and text) of my brother’s remembrances of our father and my sermon. Below is the text upon which the […]

Let’s be honest, why did Jesus die on a cross?

We are fast approaching Good Friday and the interwebs is filling with people post and reposting essays about the crucifixion. The ones that always nag at me are those that seek to argue that Jesus’ death was not somehow an atoning sacrifice offered for our sins.1 The usual objection is based upon a rejection of penal substation or any of the other various models of atonement theory. The link provided has a very nice summary […]