“But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us . . . ” -Romans 5: 3-5
As John Ortberg concludes Chapter 15 of Who is This Man?, he observes that the Greek invention of tragedy was an enormous moral gift because it enabled human beings to patiently and courageously endure suffering, thereby growing stronger. St. Paul, however, took the Greek concept one step farther- “character (produces) hope.” Paul affirmed that Jesus had triumphed over death, that death is the way to life.
Garrett Fiddler, a guest columnist in the Yale Daily News, must have had Paul’s affirmation in mind when he commented on the irony of the cross as a piece of jewelry:
“Really, the cross does not belong on the Christian; the Christian belongs on the cross.”
The cross reminds us that there’s something in us that needs to die. We remember Jesus’s well-known words in Matthew 16: 24- “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
During our desert, land between time following our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, we wait with hope for God’s revelation of our revitalized and revisioned calling.
Today’s question: How would you respond to Garrett Fiddler’s statement? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Come and see”