Monday, November 5, 2007

Restore to me the Joy of my Salvation....

I'm in a psychology class this semester that requires me to blog. This week our lecture was on the impossibility of happiness, depressing I know. But here is my post about the joy in salvation and Marilyn Adams' book Christ and Horrors:
Wednesday Dr. Beck lectured on relative and absolute comparison. I found this interesting because it is completely true; we always compare ourselves to those around us instead of looking at the big picture. It seem that the big picture is always giving us trouble. We can't plan ahead, we seek instant gratification, and we have no idea what would actually make us happy. But no matter how true this is I'm still wondering about the people in the absolute low. The fact is that sometimes the worst thing that could possibly does indeed happen. There really are people in the world who live in the worst conditions possible. For example, the invisible children- they have no possessions, no food, no safety, and when they are captured- no family and no dignity. What about the people whose loss is so great it outweighs all good? The victims of natural disasters like the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes in Pakistan, or the recent wildfires lost everything and many lost their families as well. A woman I know lost her home in Katrina as well as her 6 year old daughter and her elderly mother. She has no other living relatives. I don't know about you, but I can't think of anything much worse than that. While many families across the country lose their homes in hurricanes and tornadoes and wild fires, we always rejoice in the fact that we are alive and our families are safe. What about when this isn't true? How can we be happy when the worst thing that could happen does happen? The Bible seems to address this question over and over again. In Paul's letter to the Philippians he writes "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Phil 4:12-13). In 1 Peter this same sentiment is echoed: "In this (The resurrection of Christ) you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:6-9).
I take great comfort in the scriptures that I can have joy in my salvation even if the worst thing that could happen does. But who would the Savior have to be, what would the Savior have to do, to rescue human beings from the meaning-destroying experiences of their lives? I'm currently reading a book called Christ and Horrors: the Coherence of Christology by Marilyn Adams. Adams suggests that it is the horrors of life that separate us from God and that the salvation of Christ is the rescue from horrific evil like abuse, genocide, devastating loss, ect. The Christ Adams describes is the horror-defeater who ultimately resolves all the problems affecting the human condition. While I haven't made up my mind about the book, I do know that this image of Christ as one who rescues us is one that gives me great joy in my salvation no matter what my circumstance.

Then I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be glad in my salvation because he rescues me.
Psalm 35:9

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