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The Gospel as Tragedy
Posted on Dec. 4, 2011 1 Comment
Preparing for the lesson today I had to work to stay on topic. It’s difficult to ponder the theme of tragedy. It’s tempting to rush through the bad things to get to the good stuff of the Gospel. Unfortunately, reality does not allow us to do this. Life in this world forces us to face the fact that pain, suffering and tragedy are real and eventually will touch everyone.
As I prepared my lesson today I thought about the funerals I have conducted this year. It’s difficult to work with families struggling to accept the death of dreams and the unfairness of pain, suffering and death. Platitudes are only helpful to those who give them. For those facing the tragedy of living in a sin polluted world, the best words are often none at all. Presence is more beneficial than filling the emptiness the words that are equally empty.
But it is tragedy that sets up the comedy. As we will see next week, those who don’t allow themselves to understand the tragedy miss out on the comedy. They are like the ones who don’t get the joke and wonder why everyone finds it so funny. So don’t be afraid to be real. Don’t be afraid to think deeply and reflectively about the just how difficult it is to be human. After all, Jesus didn’t pretend life wasn’t hard. He fully embraced it and showed us how to life. But he did more than that, he is in fact the Way, the Truth, and the Life! He IS the way out of this mess. And what comes next . . . . well, that’s the comedy and the fairy tale.