Stories of Suffering: Wendy Saunders
Some have suggested that there are five stages to grief. Others have written about six steps to suffering. There are lots of ways to understand the process of suffering, but the bible suggest one metaphor that seems to make sense: "walking". We don't get through our suffering by "running" away from them, or by "racing" through them, or by "lying down" and letting them consume us. Instead, the bible suggest that we "walk through" our suffering. If we adopt this process of walking, then we will find that we are not alone as we walk, God is with us. And with that knowledge we know that our suffering will not overwhelm us. Join us this Sunday as we explore the process of suffering through word and song.
In the middle of many operas there is a key piece of music in which the lead character sings a transformative and emotive aria that moves them from the depths of suffering to the possibility of new life. It is ironic that at the darkest moment of the story comes one of the most beautiful pieces of music. This raises an important question: Can suffering ever be beautiful? Is there any purpose to our pain? Is there anything good or beneficial that comes from hardship. Join us today as we explore the possibility that suffering can work for us, and not just against us.
Our world is more connected than ever. It used to be that our home life, our work life, our social life were all distinct events that happened at different times and places. But not any more. Now, thanks to technology, our home, work, and social lives all overlap: we are never out of touch! However, for many people, their spiritual life is still disconnected. We have our private beliefs, but they are separate from our family life, or our work life. We may go to church, but it doesn't really affect our social circles. We have compartmentalized and isolated these various parts of our life so that our faith doesn't function as a coherent whole.
Paul writes in Colossians 1:17, that Christ " Our spiritual lives work best when Christ is in ALL things, not just SOME things. Therefore, full life in Christ resembles a network of vital connections that includes our faith, our friendships, our work, our community service, our EVERYTHING - working together, not as separate pieces, but as a connected whole. Join us this fall as we explore what it would mean for us to have a fully connected life. Today we begin by exploring the most important first connection that we all need to make: a connection to Jesus Christ. As we shall see, there are many different ways of making this first connection.
Canon Robert Hurkmans has been the minister at St. James and St. Brendan since 2006.