It is an age old question! If God is love, why does he/she allow suffering in this world? Job is a great book of the Bible to delve into and try to understand this struggle. In my message I looked at different ways the church has handled the whole idea of suffering, some of which have been very damaging. Do we blame it on 'Satan', do we blame it on ourselves, do we blame it on God or is there another way to see it? I think we can only come to an authentic understanding if we have sat in our woundedness in the presence of God. That's not a comfortable place to be!
This became very obvious for me in people's comments afterwards. Some know what it is to sit in that place, others don't want to go there and still others are happy for me to sit there and listen to me talk about it. For me, my wounds have become birth canals to the wholeness that God desires for me. This is a big change. It is liberating and healing. I have probably had far less suffering in my life than many people, but all of us know what it is to be hurt. If you would like to read the full message I gave click here.
Afterwards we came forward to the table for Holy Communion. This table is one where brokenness is talked about and where healing and wholeness is found. We gathered around the table together and brought all the mess of our lives to connect with the one who knew what it is to suffer. If we can come in this way, with integrity and honesty, our community will be a place of renewal and hope.