After my last two posts on the God I don't believe in and the God I do believe in, I want to pose the question, 'Where was God last Friday, when the tragic events in Norway were unfolding?' Where was he when the explosion went off in Oslo, and a gunman opened fire indiscriminately on a youth camp? I would say where is God on Boxing Day, for it is a part of his eternal Present, his everlasting Now.
- God is with the victims, those who die and those who remain: at the moment of their deaths, in their tears and grief.
- God is in the suffering and pain. CS Lewis said, ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’
- God is in the response of his people – all people, not just those with a Christian faith (and let’s not forget, the gunman claims that!). There is something remarkable about the human spirit (the Spirit of God?) that caused hundreds of thousands to observe a vigil in the centre of Oslo last evening, as if to say, ‘Evil will not win.’ God does not show himself merely through Christians, but also through those of other religions and even those who do not believe in him!
- God is in his Church, which needs gently to say, ‘There will not always be another day. You will not always to have time to respond to God’s love for you!’
- Supremely, God is on the Cross! He is not a God who is immune from suffering, unconcerned with his world. He has chosen a way of identifying with us in our suffering, of liberating us from our sin, of giving us a hope and a future. ‘For God so loved the world …’ (Jn 3:16).