On our third online worship service during the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa had some technical challenges so presented her message without notes. The scripture was from John 11, the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.
When Mary and Martha tell Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died,” Jesus doesn’t attempt to give them a philosophical answer or placate them with false hope. Instead, Jesus weeps.
Suffering is a Nothing. It’s a none reason, a nonsense. It’s not something that we can ever make sense of. The only answer to suffering is love. The only way through it is love.
After getting the full text of her message back during sharing time, Melissa read us the last paragraph of her prepared sermon:
“There is immense suffering ahead of us, still. I do not want to deceive you by offering false hope or platitudes. But I also know this – there is great love ahead, love so immense that it will take your breath away.”