Sr. Pastor Robert Kennedy and
his wife Mrs. Kennedy.
Pastor Kennedy's Biography
Assistant Pastor Joseph Thelusca and his wife Mrs. Thelusca.
Pastor Thelusca's Biography
From the Senior Pastor's Heart
The Transformation of Suffering
It is really hard to hear or see or read the news these days and not think that the only thing that is occupying the attention of the world is suffering. From the memorialization of the terrorist activity on the Boston Marathon, which took place a year ago, to the Syrian Civil war, to the Ukrainian situation, to the great disaster of the sinking ship of the coast of South Korea, in which three persons are already announced dead, over 300 missing and 164 of the 477 passengers rescued, there is much for reflection on suffering. The numbers of the ship that sunk are fluid since the total number on the ship is not really known, and the rescue operation is not over at the time of writing. My point, of course, is not to be a news reporter, but to call attention to the fact that the world seems to be facing conditions that make us all preoccupied with suffering.
The preoccupation is of such that since 2004 a video game called The Suffering has been made by Sureal Software and published by Midway games for Xbox, Play Station 2 and Microsoft windows. The video focuses on psychological horror with monsters portraying celestial disasters. Since its production it has its sequel and is also reproduced in films. I confess, I have never played it or seen it. I do not need the videos to convince me that the world is full of suffering. Enough is taking place about us personally, and in our local, national and international communities to make it clear that humanity is suffering. Trivializing the point, with videos or films, has not been transforming the suffering. Neither will naming obstacle courses The Suffering, as has been done in Great Britain change anything.
The transformation of suffering is coming to us, but it is not a game play, it will come as a work of the divine. The prophet of the Apocalypse tells us, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4). Of course, the process of transformation began a long time ago. It was first announced in the obscure text in Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” But the full impact of the beginning of the transformation was not understood until Christ came to earth and took the form of humanity. We are told in John 1:29 that the Baptist saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” The author of the Hebrews tells that He himself suffered, as he was tempted (Hebrews 2:18). From the moment of his birth every effort was made by Herod and all to kill him. Just before the launch of his ministry the devil sought to defeat him in the wilderness. Throughout his ministry every effort was made to trap Him and kill Him. He was constantly ridiculed and hounded by the Pharisees and other enemies, until they arrested Him and tried Him. The Gethsemane experience and the cross, displayed the full intensity of His suffering; a suffering that still remains a mystery for interpreters. The most precise description of the suffering that can be offered from all of the details in the New Testament Gospels and the Epistles and, of course, from the predictions of the Old Testament (cf. Isaiah 53 on the Suffering Servant), is that “He suffered sore.”
In the celebration of Passover and Easter are intended to lead to a reflection on what the suffering means, and to remind us that one of these days that there will be an end to suffering. It is my hope that each of you pray that soon there the Messiah will return and bring an end to suffering. Please understand that the conditions of suffering that we face are not just a game to be played or some obstacle course to be challenged. It is Satan’s plan to destroy us and we need Christ to come and completely transform our suffering.
Last Modified: Wednesday April 16, 2014