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This Week at JMPC 4.26.2020

Well, it’s election season. I want to get a t-shirt that says, “If I have but one year to live, let it be an election year. They last forever.” This year we have had a dozen or more candidates and each one wanted an opponent to get asked a question he or she couldn’t answer. And every TV talking head wanted to be the one who asked that question. The question every candidate fears. The kind of question that embarrasses a candidate. That one question that ends a campaign. Pastors have been dealing with that kind of question since Jesus. The question that can’t be answered. The question on which the faith of the asker depends. The question every pastor fears.
Here is how it comes up.
“Pastor Jeff, I want to ask you about the COVID-19 pandemic (or the tsunami in Sumatra or the hurricane in New Orleans or the floods in South Carolina, or the earthquake in Haiti). Why does God let these things happen? Is God trying to tell us something? Do the people suffering from these natural catastrophes somehow deserve it? Do we deserve it? Are they being punished? Are we being punished? If so, for what?”
These are not new questions. There is even a theological term for it. Theodicy.
If God is all good and God is all powerful, why is there pain? If God is all good, he would eliminate pain. If God is all powerful, he could eliminate pain. Because there is pain, God is either not all good, or not all powerful, or neither all good nor all powerful, or does not exist at all.
Good questions. But difficult, if not impossible to answer. But this Sunday Pastor Jeff will take a shot when he preaches, “Why does God let this happen?” as the first in a four part sermon series, “What does God have to do with this?” Tune in (is that still a description of what we do in Facebook Live?) Sunday at 9:30 to worship with JMPC online. If you can’t make it, tune in later for the recorded service on Facebook or YouTube.

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