The Long Silence
Hebrews 4: 14-16 (GNT)
14 Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great High Priest who has gone into the very presence of God—Jesus, the Son of God. 15 Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. 16 Let us have confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.
‘The Long Silence’, author unknown, tells a short story of people who have suffered greatly, each having a complaint against God for the evil and suffering permitted in this world. Here I presented a condensed version:
- God was lucky to live in heaven where all was sweetness and light. For God lives a pretty sheltered life, they said. A small group decided that before God could be qualified to be their judge, he must endure what they had endured. Their decision was that “God should be sentenced to live on earth as a man, born a Jew, the legitimacy of his birth doubted! Give him work so difficult that even his family will think him out of his mind. Let him be betrayed by his closest friends, face false charges, be tried by a prejudiced jury and convicted by a cowardly judge. Let him be tortured. At the last, let him see what it is to be so terribly alone, and then let him die. As each leader announced his portion of the sentence, loud murmurs of approval went up from the throng of people assembled. When the last had finished pronouncing sentence there was a long silence. No one uttered a word. No one moved. For suddenly all knew that God had already served his sentence. -
Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we praise you that you are not living the sheltered life, you are with us in our struggles and in our pain and suffering, for you too have been there. We have your sympathy, we have your understanding, we have your strength. Whilst you give us no easy answers to suffering, you receive our questions and doubts and anger, and we hold on to you in trust. Grant us your grace and your mercy and help us when our faith seems low. Without you we have nothing to hope for, with you we have nothing to fear. Bless us and our loved ones and keep us in your care. Amen.