“The tears of God are the meaning of history”

An excellent quote and profound concept which I will be teaching about tomorrow at White Fields Church in Longmont.

Eclectic Orthodoxy

God is love. That is why he suffers. To love our suffering, sinful world is to suffer. God so suffered for the world that he gave up his only Son to suffering. The one who does not see God’s suffering does not see his love. God is suffering love.

So suffering is down at the center of things, deep down where the meaning is. Suffering is the meaning of our world. For Love is the meaning. And Love suffers. The tears of God are the meaning of history.

But mystery remains. Why isn’t Love-without-suffering the meaning of things? Why is suffering-Love the meaning? Why does God endure his suffering? Why does he not at once relieve his agony by relieving ours?

Nicholas Wolterstorff

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4 thoughts on ““The tears of God are the meaning of history”

  1. What good is love if it isn’t willing to suffer for those who are loved? I think if there is no suffering involved, then the notion of love is worthless. If I say I love someone, but I’m not willing to be berated in their stead (or even killed), do I really love them?

    Is that the message you are trying to convey?

    1. Yes, along those lines – but a little more.
      Here’s what I said yesterday about it:
      In the Garden of Eden – God knit his heart to us, in love – as a husband. As a Father.
      But what did we do? We told him: We don’t love you. We don’t trust you. Go away. We want to do our own thing.
      That is the essence of the story of Adam and Eve — and it is a story that is repeated in all of our lives too at one point or another.
      But think about this: Why didn’t it all just end right there? Why didn’t God just destroy them, judge their sin and be over with it all?   
      Why?  Because instead, God chose to weep. God chose to hurt.
      He decided to absorb the pain that our sin and rebellion caused Him – and make a way to provide salvation and redemption for us.
      But in order for us to be saved, God had to suffer over and over the deep pain that he is caused by human sin and rebellion.
      That phrase: the tears of God are the meaning of history – what it means is that the only reason there is history – the only reason we are here today – is because God was willing to suffer the pain which was caused to him by human sin.
      A million times over he could have put an end to that pain by just wiping us all out like the Amalekites, once and for all.
      But the story of history is that over and over God has chosen to absorb the pain – so that he could make a way for some to be saved and redeemed and restored, and have eternal life.
      And ultimately — that is the story of the Gospel! That God chose to absorb the pain — to absorb our judgment, so that we could be saved.
      That is what Jesus Christ did as he hung on the Cross of Calvary — he absorbed our sin and our judgment — so that we could be saved and set free.

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