Commerce Presbyterian Church
Sunday June 28, 2015
A selection of Scripture for this morning:
At the end of the book of Genesis chapter 50, We find the story of Joseph and his brothers. His brother had sold him into slavery. In an ironic twist, they find themselves at his mercy later in life and here is what Joseph said to them in verse 19 and 20:
‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God?20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.
In the gospel of Matthew we find Jesus’ sermon on the mount in which he said...
‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”
But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.
‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
And from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus:
“...Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
The word of the Lord.
People of faith who make particular claims about God have a fundamental problem that cannot be resolved--it is the problem of theodicy--the reality of evil in the world.
How can God be all good and all powerful and there be evil in the world?
If God is all good and not able to do anything about it, then god is not all powerful.
Or, If God is all powerful and does not do anything about evil in the world, then how can we say God is all Good?
We try to make sense of it:
-- it is because of the free-will of humans that evil exists..
-- or it is some third agent, Satan, the devil, who is responsible for evil.
-- Or that evil is part of God’s plan -
but even in these scenarios an All powerful and All Good God doesn’t fit with the reality of evil. Evil exists…and as people of faith we are called to live and be present in that reality, and work toward resist evil by doing good.
This is the road of discipleship.