I wrote a letter to Jürgen Moltmann, after I received his address from the yahoo Moltmann discussion group. I asked him the following two questions, and then received this response.
- Question #1 Pastorally, how do I apply the Crucified God when ministering to people who are suffering? They ask me how they should respond to tragedy, and I don’t know what to say. Do I tell them that “Jesus is there with you asking, God, where are you?” or do I tell them that, “Jesus is here suffering with you?” What should I say to someone who comes to me for prayer about their suffering?
- Question #2 There have been several still-borns at my church, and very young children who have died suddenly without explanation. The entire church has grieved tremendously at these losses, like Rachel refusing to be comforted because her children are no more. What do I tell my church and parents in the midst of grief about their status of unbaptized children? If we are ecumenical in our future, shouldn’t the visible church also include infants and unborn children as well? And if these youngest children are part of the church, why should they not receive the sign of the covenant (i.e. be baptized)?
Translation of Gerhardt hymn: Ich steh' an Deiner Krippen heir (I stand beside They manger-bed)
When I was not born yet
You were born for me
And chose to be mine
Before I knew you
Before I was made by your hand
You had already thought
How you would become mine
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