Psalm 22: 1-2
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
This is, I think, a different sort of question,
than the others we’ve wondered so far this term.
It's a question not so much about humanity,
or of our relationship to God.
But a question posed toward God.
It’s a question of protest,
asked by the Psalmist,
asked by Job,
asked by Jesus as he faced death,
Asked perhaps by many of us here today.
It takes various forms,
like "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
It’s asked in times of despair.
Asked, I hope, in confirmation classes and bible studies.
A question which essentially comes down to the seemingly incongruous belief
in a good and loving and powerful God,
and the fact of suffering and evil.
A question which no doubt has led some away from faith.
And the ability to ask such a question has, I hope,
drawn still others closer in.
Nearly every sermon I’ve heard or read
on this problem of evil,
turns to offer insight into the author’s own profound experience of suffering.
But I admit that I am largely unqualified to go down such a road.
I've certainly not lived a perfect or pain-free life,
but I have lived a good, and lucky, and blessed one.
I have lost only a few close friends or family,
I have been blessed by a good and loving family from the start.
and good health, so far.
And yet even I have protested and questioned.
on behalf of myself,
on behalf of suffering people with whom I’ve sat.
on behalf of countries facing war or natural disaster,
and on behalf of history-
why should such evil, such suffering exist in the world?
Such questions are, I think,
essential to the human experience,
even those of us who have lived lives far more full of grace than of trial.
And such questions are,
I think, deeply I important to the life of faith.
And I take solace, this morning, in knowing
that I have but a few minutes to address this question of suffering,
not because I think I will be able offer a satisfactory answer
but because I’m pretty sure more time wouldn’t help.
But it’s not for lack of trying.
Indeed, so interested in the question of evil I was,
that I devoted my college honors thesis to it.