“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” – Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46
Whenever people gather (in person or online) in Jesus’ name, God is present among them. But in the Bible God reveals his power and glory in god-forsaken places more than he does houses of worship.
My God, my God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? – James Tissot
A group of gypsies living in the desert become pathetic brick makers for an empire. Their first born males are being killed as a form of population control. God hears their cries, claims them as His people and delivers them from slavery.
Centuries later their offspring are defeated by another mighty empire and held in captivity in Babylon. In Bible times Babylon represents a world alienated from God. In this god-forsaken country God again delivers them from their captors and brings them home.
Centuries later a young teenager becomes pregnant before her marriage ceremony. She is likely shamed by her neighborhood, but she carries the life of God inside of her.
God takes on human flesh and becomes a carpenter in a town so insignificant that it barely makes the history books. This simple peasant travels around the country healing the sick, freeing the demon possessed and preaching good news to the hopeless.
The Romans execute him on cross, crushing the hopes of His followers. After 3 dark days He is raised from the dead.
These are more than stories to be told on Sunday morning. They are the key to understanding where God is to be found – in god forsaken places where there is little or no expectation.
About Corey Sharpe
Where do we get our beliefs?
Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology.
From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ.
Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles.
I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.