Tonight’s study took us to the Garden of Eden and brought us face-to-face with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The serpent tempted Eve to eat of its forbidden fruit, and all humanity falls into sin. We affirmed that one should not interpret Eve’s sin as occasion to diagnose all women as inferior to men.
But we had some burning questions: Why did God present humanity with the opportunity to do evil? Why does God allow evil? Why would God create us with free will?
God did not create human beings as robots who are programmed to do only God’s will. Free will opens up the possibility of love in a relationship—human beings choosing to love the God who first loves us. Could love be the highest good of God’s creation?
All of us struggle with questions about why God allows suffering and evil, and the reasons why terrible things happen. Jesus questions God just like we do as he died on the cross: “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus teaches us to direct our questions toward God—and God will meet us in the midst of those questions, full of mercy and compassion. Though we cannot understand suffering and the reasons for it, our faith remains firmly planted on one single truth: that God is love. God’s will shall be done on earth as in heaven, and not even Satan can derail the coming of God’s kingdom. By faith, we shall behold God's goodness, even in the face of so much evil and pain.
And as our technological age bombards us with a constant deluge of and news, we Christians are challenged in two ways—to make news through our proclamation of God’s promises and the healing work we do in the wake of tragedy; and to keep ourselves firmly planted in the good news of God’s reign over the universe.
We will re-gather in two weeks: on Thursday, February 13, at 7 p.m.