From Archbishop Rowan Williams:

“And the message is that God has told us he is not going to give up on us: he appears to us in the life of Jesus, a life of complete identification with human suffering and need. And he makes it possible for us to identify in the same way with those who suffer and live in hopelessness and need. He makes it possible not to give up, even where there seems least chance of change” (italics mine).

This piece, along with its note of urgency, struck me as deeply patristic in nature. I’m still trying to work this out, but it seems to me to say that God “makes it possible for us to identify” with those who suffer, would seem to imply that salvation, far from being abstract or by fiat, is rather the kindling of the divine life here and now. Because of co-operative grace, because salvation “is lived out in the presence of God among, and as part of, creation,”[1] we can so to those who suffer, “I’m not going away.”


[1] Edmund Newey, “The Form of Reason…”, Modern Theology 18 (2002), 2.

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