A few thoughts on Wednesday morning

1. I dreamed that Mark and Amy and I were “still” living with my parents in the house I grew up in. While we were talking about Amy going to preschool, we were also considering me going to graduate school. I was starting to realize that maybe I didn’t want to go to that graduate school. And I was also starting to realize that maybe it was time for us to try to buy a house of our own. I wasn’t sure my parents would be ready for us to go, and was surprised and a little taken aback when they agreed rather huffily, as if to say “finally!”

2. We all seem to be over the hump of the stomach bug. I need to take things slow, still, though — I tried a bowl of cereal with milk this morning and my stomach is not particularly pleased. I am supposed to play music with my friend Beth at her church tonight, background music for a time of confession; I haven’t practiced since we’ve been sick, and now that I’m mostly better I need to make time to tune and practice today so I’ll be ready.

3. N. T. Wright said somewhere in Jesus and the Victory of God that “wrath” generally refers to armies that are attacking. That thought has rumbled around in my head since I read it weeks ago. It makes me wonder about the interrelationships of the words “wrath,” “hostility,” “anger,” and “hatred.”

I can only think of one statement in the Bible about God hating anyone — God saying “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Even then I wonder if the emotional content is what we would expect — maybe it’s metaphorical just for God choosing Jacob over Esau. In other words, maybe it’s not that God rejected Esau because he didn’t like him much — maybe he rejected him for his own reasons and described it as hatred.

There’s also Cain — God doesn’t just reject Cain’s offering, but “had no regard for Cain.”

What bothers me about the idea of the wrath of God is not so much that he judges (he is just — all deserve wrath, and it is his mercy that he chooses to forgive anyone — although yes, even that still bothers me, since he is powerful enough and good enough to choose to forgive all if he wants to) but that I can’t figure out his attitude towards the judged — does he still love those who are not elect? Does he love Esau even as he hates him? Is there a just reason for him not to like Cain?

Wright’s idea allows a glimpse of this language as more metaphorical, and less emotional.

Stuff to chew on.


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