The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Hope in midst of suffering

Luther urged living, daring confidence in God's grace

What passage of Scripture would you share with a vibrant urban congregation remembering the volatile and violent response to the Rodney King verdict in Los Angeles 20 years ago?

That was the question I pondered as I prepared to greet the people of Holy Trinity Lutheran and later that day with New City Parish, a coalition of nine ELCA congregations in the Los Angeles area.

For so many reasons it seemed fitting to read 1 Peter 1:3-10. Yes, God "has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Yet the passage goes on: "In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials ...."

That is the reality and witness of the Christian life, is it not? The ever-present tension of rejoicing in the hope of the new life we have in Jesus Christ in the midst of suffering.

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