What does the church in Minneapolis most need to know about God today? It’s been two days since the collapse of the I-35W bridge (August 1, 2007) and countless people are suffering both physically and emotionally in the aftermath of this devastating event. Some lost family members in this tragedy. Others’ lives were spared but they are hospitalized with a variety of injuries. Those not directly involved, but perhaps friends with those who were, are struggling to make sense of what occurred, asking questions like: “Where was God? Who is God?”
There are any number of answers to my initial question. Some in Minneapolis need to know that not so much as a sparrow falls to the ground apart from our Father in heaven (Matthew 10:29). They, therefore, being “of more value than many sparrows” (v. 31) may rest assured that this event did not catch God by surprise.
Others need to be gently and lovingly reminded that none of us knows “what tomorrow will bring” (James 4:14a). Indeed, “what is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (v. 14b). Instead, they and we “ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (v. 15).
And certainly everyone should stand with confidence and unshakable assurance on this glorious truth, that God orchestrates all things, both blessing and blight, both triumph and tragedy, for the ultimate spiritual good of those who love him and “are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
But perhaps most important of all, the church in Minneapolis and all the saints throughout Minnesota need to know what Paul believed the church “in Corinth” together “with all the saints” who were “in the whole of Achaia” needed to know (2 Corinthians 1:1), namely, that “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”, who