- We have one of our largest outreaches of the year on Nov 16th- hosting a thanksgiving dinner for over 100 non-Christians (most of whom are friends of the believing students involved in Agape, the name of Cornerstone here).
- Winter is coming- it’s below freezing most days and because we are so far north the days are incredibly short. Pray for energy and good spirits for our team.
- For students to take more ownership of reaching this university for Christ.
There is a lot that has gone on this week. New York flooding- the worst in many many years. David Shannon’s untimely death. An important election where the country is now hushed wondering what will unfold.
In the early 1900′s a spirit of “romanticism” still existed. People believed in the human success project. Things seemed to be getting better and with our increased enlightenment certainly utopia was thought just a step away. Then WWI, next WWII, more wars…. Vietnam, the Cold War, divorce skyrocketed, homicides became common. The romanticism of the early 1900′s was all but squashed as the century played out.
Now, we sit on a precipice. A terrorist attack could be imminent. The next bomb between super powers might wipe us all out. If those don’t, pestilence, disease or cyber war certainly could. What are we to do? How do we carry on if we are contemplative people? The romance era is gone- when we really contemplate life, the future, our hopes and dreams against the backdrop of the modern world many fall into one of two realms- despair on the one hand or “eat drink and be merry” on the other yet terrified that it will all drop out one day. Where are you at today? How do respond to the evil and suffering of the world? This is one of the truly difficult questions for faith to answer in today’s culture. How could a good, loving, all-powerful God allow all this to happen to his creation?
At Cornerstone we don’t have all the answers. I certainly don’t. However, as I understand the God of the Bible one thing is absolutely clear- “what is, is not what is meant to be”. And- “what is, is not what one day will be”. Actually stepping away from faith really doesn’t make any of it easier. It probably makes it quite a bit more difficult. For if there is no God, we are all trapped in a cycle of meaninglessness. What is, is what will always be. What is, is what will one day still be. There truly is no hope when despair lurks near our hearts. Death is meaningless. Life is meaningless. In fact pain is simply a fact of natural selection and one could never thoughtfully say, “this should not be” with any sense of meaningfulness.
BUT if there is a God and that God is as He reveals Himself in the Bible- there is hope. There is hope that all this will be made up for someday. There is hope that one day there will no longer be any pain. There is hope that it will all some day be better. Hope in the Bible is not found in a circumstance. Hope is not found in a feeling. Hope is not found in the right mindset. Hope is found in a person. The person who created us and loves us so much that he would prove how He feels about us in sending (not just allowing), but sending His Son to die on the cross for you and I. He dies for the pain, He dies for the unmet expectations, He dies for the evil and suffering. He is the source of true hope as He tells us who He is and that He created us for a special purpose. He does not tell us all the “why’s” of life and suffering, but one thing he does tell us, is that suffering can’t be because He doesn’t love us. He demonstrated that on the cross in the ultimate demonstration of pain and suffering.
In the book of Mark, Jesus calls out to a dead girl “Talitha Cumi”- “Little Girl”, get up. He says the same thing to us with the sweet tenderness of a Father. “My loved ones, rise up in hope”.
Life is not easy. I personally often teeter on melancholy despair. But when I am thinking rightly I take hope that there is something… someOne better in whom to base my hope.
I wanted to send this out in light of this week and in particular tell you all that the staff of Cornerstone and Greek Life are standing by to talk if you would like. We are here for you. We don’t have all the answers but perhaps we have some perspective as God has worked in our own lives to walk through the struggles of this world. Please contact me or the other staff if you or someone you know would benefit from sitting down and processing life.