March 26, 2020
Since the COVID-19 crisis started, so many Facebook posts have been asking the good old chestnut questions: “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” or “Where is God in the midst of all the suffering and hardship in the world?” Even our Primate, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, has tried to deal with this question in her most recent Anglican Journal article, “Where is God?” She does her best, and I recommend the article to you. But, as she says at the beginning of her piece, ‘I can come up with no answers.’ Neither can we. We can look at Bible passages in Job and The Psalms in the Old Testament and the letters of Paul in the New Testament, but none of them really answers the question “Why?” From the cross Jesus cried out these words, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Even the Son of God at the height of his suffering asks the same question.For me, all this means that suffering is a part of life. We have to acknowledge that, cope the best we can, get alongside others who are suffering too and show the compassion that we have received from God with them. “Compassion” means “suffering with” – that’s what God is doing now and, as His followers, and that’s what we should be doing with others. Let us pray:
God our Father, we are struggling with the situation we are facing today. We are unable to worship with our friends in Christ from whom we gain so much love and support. We pray that you will show your compassion to all of us and, when we come to you in prayer, you will give us a real sense of your presence with us and shower us with your love. We pray this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, through whose sufferings we have gained eternal life. Amen.