Chapel Late Nite '15Wangerin Preaching Series 2015-16Meet Your Peer MinisterMaking a prayer requestScheduling a WeddingChinese Bible study offeredWalking the LabyrinthWelcome Sunday 2015Pardon our dustSummer Worship ScheduleChapel plans additionThe Lord Bless You and Keep YouDogs help lower students' stress levelsNotable music eventsResurrection all around us2015 Peeps Contest Winners The Blessing of Resurrection SilenceSt Paul's Cathedral Choir of London in concert April 296th Annual Easter Peeps ShowWangerin Preaching Series concludes April 12Wait. Watch. Pray.The Crowd Wasn't FickleLilies for EasterOrdinary GraceLent without complaintSomeone Jesus LovesSome words to live byNew Every MorningI'll Walk Beside You"Earworms" from HeavenWhat Tomorrow HoldsListening and speaking across the divideStories of ResilienceScience, Ethics & ReligionSummer jobs for studentsPeer Ministry applications due Feb. 6Sign up for Life Tree Retreat2014 Advent VespersPets provide comfort on campusCome, Lord JesusTo Whom are You Thankful?Play TimeFetter Memorial ServiceShipwrecked at the stable doorIt's Never Too LateHarvest Party is SaturdayServing up social justice and soupAll Saints 2014The Tree Grows Around the WireA Great Cloud of WitnessesWomen invited to meet Susan BriehlPrejudice as a false godWhat will you do after Valpo?Upcoming Organ EventsChurch Voc RetreatCROP Walk 2014To everything there is a seasonGod doesn't do fractionsGospel of Mark eventA prayer for todayMonday, MondayBeginningsChapel Late NiteSix WordsIn praise of doubting disciplesGoing Ahead of YouThis Changes EverythingLord, have mercyWe are [not] our workAs we speak...Service in small stepsDoes Jesus really mean that?Unexpected BlessingsOn the deaths of artistsWinter reflection: What is really necessary?The insects outnumber usHeading for HomeA prayer wave for hungerFor such a time as thisWhat do we say to such things?Can we learn to be happy?Lesson from the treesTheology of a Break UpIn praise of Plan BA letter to HannahThe dance of beauty and eternityCatch up timeThe end of accusationInspiration at the "Y"Growing into her grandmother's wisdomInstrument of peaceA seat at the tableBidden or not biddenArchived NewsApply for Student Jobs
What do we say to such things?

tornado wreckage

What do we say to such things?  The forces of nature in the tornadoes of this past weekend and the typhoon of ten days ago have brought utter destruction.  Lives have been lost.  Homes have been destroyed.  Infrastructures have collapsed. The elements have spilled out of their boundaries, and humanity has been caught in the path of nature’s fury.

What do we say to such things?  Is this the action of an angry God?  Are these most recent storms acts of punishment or judgment?  Could not the Jesus who calmed the wind and the waves have stilled these storm?  Could not the Jesus who worked miracles over the physical world worked miracles here?   Could not the God who created the heavens and the earth with but a word, uttered peace be still, so that the winds and the waters would have been turned away?

Where was God as these tornadoes spun forth in fury? Where was God as the typhoon roared ashore?  What do we say to such things?

As we hold in our prayers the people suffering from these storms we remember that on this earthly journey we live in the tension of the grace, mercy, and love of God revealed in Christ, and the mysteries and sorrows of a broken world.  God’s purposes are not always clearly discernible to us.  God is revealed to us, but God is also hidden from us:  we do not know completely the mind of God.  We cannot understand fully the workings of God.

But what we do know is that in the midst of any and all things God is present.  We do know that because of Jesus, where there is suffering, there God is also. God’s Spirit is sustaining, and God beckons everyday human creatures – like you and me – to come to the aid of those in need.

So what do we say to such things?  We cry Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy, and then we become the hands, the heart, and the feet of Christ to bring that mercy to those in need.

†Pr. Char


Rev. James A. Wetzstein and Rev. Charlene M. Rachuy Cox serve as university pastors at Valpo and take turns writing weekly reflections.