August 27, 2017
preached by Drew Matter
Time of Reflection Quotations
“Suffering is actually at the heart of the Christian story.”
~Tim Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering
“It is said of God that no one can behold his face and live. I always thought this meant that no one could see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps it meant that no one could see his sorrow and live. Or perhaps his sorrow is splendor…. Instead of explaining our suffering God shares it.”
~Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son
“So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
‘Cause oh, it gave me such a fright
But I will hold on with all of my might
Just promise me we’ll be all right.”
~Mumford & Sons, “Ghosts That We Knew”
“What do people mean when they say, ‘I am not afraid of God because I know He is good’? Have they never even been to a dentist?”
~C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
“I have never experienced stomach doubt, but I think Jesus did. When he cried out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!’ I don’t think he was raising a theological issue…I think he had looked into the abyss itself and found there a darkness that spiritually, viscerally, totally engulfed him. I think God allows that kind of darkness to happen only to God’s saints.”
~Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Psalm 77 (ESV)
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes,
I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
the heavens resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.