Ash Wednesday 2017March 1, 2017
No that long ago a woman came to see me. It was a conversation that I have had many times before – though under many different circumstances. She was searching for meaning to her own suffering and had come to see me as a result of a friend’s recommendation, but she also defined herself as an atheist. “Why would God, who you claim is loving, also want us to suffer?”
The question is a good one – in fact, if we were to sum up the scriptures, I think that is THE question of the Hebrew people. And it is a question I think we would do well to consider at the beginning of a season that is often associated with suffering, penitence, and abstinence.
So here is how I would like to answer this question: Tell me everything you know about the God you don’t believe in. . . . And if we were to have this conversation, I would most certainly tell you that I don’t believe in that God either – because most people I have this conversation with have an image of God that is really not worth believing in.
CLICK HERE for the readings for Ash Wednesday (Joel 2:12-18; Psalm 51; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)