Rev. Ruth’s Reflections – September 1st, 2023

Rev. Ruth's Reflections Hello Emerald Coasters!

So another hurricane has come and gone and missed us. Whew!
In Birmingham, we heave a sigh of similar relief when tornadoes pass by.

In the wake of such events, we may hear comments such as, “God protected me and my family!” or “God was with us this time!”! Does that mean God abandoned those who DID get hit by the storm? Does the Mystery of the universe pick people to save or punish or abandon in times of disaster?

These are all variations on a very old question: Where is God amidst disaster? When examining the Christian orthodox doctrines that the divine is all-powerful, all-knowing, and exists everywhere simultaneously, things get sticky. If these doctrines are true, then how can God be a loving, benevolent deity?

If God is God, God can’t be good. If God is good, God can’t be God.
This premise leads many to adopt a nontheist position: there can be no god. That is a reasonable conclusion.

Skeptical theists, like myself, allow for the Mystery to exist, but we struggle with the nature of the Ultimate. We seek a theologically nonbinary option that we cannot entirely comprehend.

I do believe in a divine Ultimate Compassion, who does not cause misfortune but is present with us in the midst of it. This deity does not cause our suffering, but weeps with us. This Creative Force gives us many ways to comfort and support each other in bad times and gives us the chance to act as the means of divine healing and restitution after disaster.

In the midst of questions, may we reach out and care for one another!

In wisdom and grace,

Rev. Ruth