Suffering Love

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This week we mourn one of our spiritual giants, Ed Chipman. At the age of 93 his body said it was time to leave this earth and to enter the next chapter of eternal truth. How does one mourn well? What are his widow Cheri and his six children to do so that they might receive the utmost from Jesus in their greatest time of need?

In grieving the death of his son, Nicholas Wolterstorff, one of our finest Christian philosophers, reached a profound understanding of Paul’s theology of the cross as well as Jesus' “Blessed are those who mourn.” In “Lament for a Son,” Wolterstorff grieves his loss and also ponders the meaning of the Beatitudes.

“God is not only the God of the suffering but the God who suffers. The pain and fallenness of humanity have entered into God’s heart. Through the prism of my tears…. God is love. That is why God suffers. To love our suffering, sinful world is to suffer. God suffered for the world that he gave up his only Son to suffering. The one who does not see God’s suffering does not see his love. God is suffering love… To believe in Christ’s suffering from the grave is to accept it as a sign of our own rising from the grave… So I shall struggle to love in reality of Christ’s rising and death's dying. In my living, my son's dying will not be the last word.”

May all who mourn Ed Chipman know this truth. We all mourn someone and we all live in the truth that Jesus indeed has the last word. Thanks be to God!

Scripture for meditation: Psalm 23, Matthew 5:1-11, John 3:13, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

I hope to see all of you this Saturday for the Workshop with Terry Hershey. You will be blessed. Go to this link for further details.  Terry will also be preaching this Sunday at God’s Grace.

Still in one peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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