I am not a very sorrowful person. That's probably not the most shocking statement I've ever made. Generally speaking I see things positively, happily, and with an annoying optimism. In some respects I think it's just my personality. In other ways it seems Biblical to me. After all the Jesus story is one that speaks of forgiveness, rescue, healing, restoration, freedom, and salvation … no matter what you have done, no matter where you go, and no matter who you are. Through Jesus there is always a way back to God.
However, there are certain elements of Christianity and places in Scripture where optimism seems lost. Regretfully, when these subjects come up, many–regardless of personality–aren't sure how to respond. This often leads us to talk about death, hell, judgment, and eternal suffering with a bland and calculated distance. These become matters of theology, rather than humanity. But this is miles apart from the example God puts forth in Scripture. In fact the story of Noah–which we studied on Sunday–is one of death, judgement, and suffering. And yet prior to the flood that would wipe out the world, Moses records in Genesis 6:6 that ... the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. When the reality of humanity's tragic fate was eminent, God was deeply sorrowful.
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
Coming this week from Film & Theology ...