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This Week in the Reformed Journal: Hope Begins in the Dark

This Week in the Reformed Journal: Hope Begins in the Dark
By Jeff Munroe, Editor • Issue #83 • View online
Dear Friends,
We’ll remember the last week of September, 2022—especially those of us living in Florida and the Carolinas—as the week Hurricane Ian caused so much death and devastation. Not to downplay this, but I’ll also remember this as the week my wife and I got COVID. I’m grateful that the vaccines and various mutations meant neither of us had to be hospitalized or were in danger of losing our lives. Yet at the same time, this week has been no walk in the park. Being people of faith, when large scale disasters happen or personal setbacks occur, we immediately wonder where God is in the midst of this. What do we mean when we say “God is in control”? Brett Vander Berg ably takes up that question in this week’s lead essay, and I commend his meditation to you. 

God is in Control (?)
When I saw that Tim Van Deelen was writing on Hurricane Ian, I half suspected his article would be a kind of “I told you so.” He has earned the right to do that. But that’s not the approach Tim has taken. Rather, by pointing us to Debra Rienstra’s Refugia Podcast, Tim raises profound questions about what the church’s role in addressing climate change should and could be. Take a look. 
Brett and Tim’s work bring to mind a sort of rhythm of grief and hope, and this topic is explored beautifully by Jim Schaap on our blog today. I also commend this piece to you. Who but Jim Schaap is going to juxtapose a sculpture of David in Rome with a sculpture of a Mormon couple in Omaha? As Jim writes, citing the celebrated novel Where the Dead Sit Talking, grief and hope are our anchor. Jim ends his piece quoting Anne Lamott, that “Hope begins in the dark.” Wise words for a week like this.
Grief and Hope, Hope and Grief
Jessica Whipple’s poem, “In the Dark,” fits perfectly with these other pieces, yet Jessica’s poem is sort of like a Halloween story or, better yet, a Flannery O’Connor story, which puts the grotesque in front of us and demands we deal with it. Her conversation with Rose Postma on our poetry podcast is only about seven minutes long—take a listen, you’ll be a little grossed out and a lot delighted. And read Jessica’s much more tranquil and calming poem, “After Christmas Dinner,” while you’re at it.
In the Dark
After Christmas Dinner
As always, there is more at the home page.
Blessed Reading,
Jeff Munroe
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jeff Munroe, Editor

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