Suffering and salvation

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12; John 12:20-33

As the Season of Lent rushes toward inevitability, scripture calls us to play the old game of Truth or Consequences—no, not the game show from the 1960s, but the old-time religion game of suffering and salvation.

In the presbytery I serve, there are several congregations that have eliminated the confession of sin from their worship liturgy. Too depressing, they say, too focused on guilt and shame. With progressive intensity, they instead offer a God of goodness and grace—a God of blessing, not punishment. This strikes me as eerily similar to an evangelical opposite—a famous church out west where the organist is forbidden to play any music written in a minor key.


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