In the month of November, we'll be tackling the issue of suffering/pain in the lives of our students...here's the general direction I am feeling we're going to go.
1. Name the Pain.
This week will just acknowledge that we all have pain in our lives. Hopefully it will be a good avenue for people to be honest with themselves. We will acknowledge God's presence with us, but leave it as a mystery as to what that means.
2. Know the hope.
This week will talk about what we do with our pain. How do we react to it? Do we just let it beat us up? Do we just linger in it? Do we just complain? God desires to take the rubbish as a way to make us stronger. (I'm worried about being pithy here...I want to make sure that when we talk about God making good out of bad doesn't invalidate people's pain, but instead validates the great work of God.)
3. Share the pain.
This week will be about how to walk with those who are in pain. Coming from Romans 12, where Paul talks about rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn. Also will look at how Jesus wept and didn't solve his friends' problem right away (Lazarus). I've asked several students for their thoughts on the topic as I am preparing it, and one student said that we are all in pain, and we just have to deal with it, because everybody is too consumed with their own pain to notice anybody else. So, if that's true, how do we respond?