Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
In yesterday's Old Testament lesson the prophet Habakkuk (500 years before Christ) asks this question,
"O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you "Violence!"
and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted."
It is our question as well. The LORD answers like this,
"For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end
--it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come;
it will not delay."
What was the LORD's response? His answer is the cross!
For, you see, the primary human experience that Jesus came to participate in was suffering and death, and the cross is the testimony of it. He did not come to participate in the world's politics, economics, technology or leisurely activities. But in our suffering and death.
The Lord got his hands dirty on our behalf. Bloody. "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil 2:5 ff)
In Christ God demonstrates his love and solidarity with his beloved creation. By Christ he redeems, and recreates us. "For as in Adam we all die," writes St. Paul, "even so in Christ we shall all be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22) Alive in a "New Heaven and New Earth" according to St. John's Revelation vision. As in Christ God participates in our humanity, so in Christ humanity participates in God, and there is nothing better than that.
Our participation begins in baptism and never ends. "Our communion is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 2:2) Our Star is rising, our Hope is secure.