The God-ness of God
Only the suffering God can help
Tamed Cynic is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and all content, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
The lectionary epistle reading for this Sunday is Philippians 1.21-30:
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God's doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well-- since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
In his lectures on Philippians, Karl Barth posits that Paul’s surprising and memorable declaration in verse twenty-one (“For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.”) should be understood alongside God’s self-revelation to Job. What Paul attests from his cell should be heard in conjunction with how Job responds to God’s address from the whirlwind.
“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise my words, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job says and says no more.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Tamed Cynic to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.