One of the theological puzzles with which I have struggled over the years is what the Puritans called “special providence”—that is, God’s miraculous intercession in human affairs in response to prayer. Every pastor knows the dilemma.
In securing the release of the three American soldiers held in Yugoslavia, Jesse Jackson, Joan Brown Campbell and the other U.S. religious leaders who traveled to Belgrade pulled off a dramatic, unexpected success. On behalf of the soldiers, and in an effort to maintain contact with religious communities in Yugoslavia, the delegation made a risky journey.
We're all perpetually longing for love. Fortunate are those who realize early that another human being can't meet this unrequitable need. Even more fortunate are men and women of prayer who realize that peace comes by embracing the longing itself.
America's propensity to see
ourselves as God's new chosen nation has often led us to claim scripture
directed at Israel (or Judah) as promises for ourselves. While such
thinking generally makes me squirm, I can re-apply such interpretations
to see how they apply to the modern world.