I took a funeral a while ago, where the person had died suddenly and in rather horrific circumstances. The relative who was left was clearly very shocked and bewildered, but said, "Never mind, all these things are sent to try us."
This idea of being "tested" by a higher power is a very common one, and perhaps arises from passages such as today's epistle from 1 Corinthians chapter 10. In verse 18 St. Paul warns the Corinthians they are being tested, but adds comfortingly, "God will not let you be tested beyond your strength."
Are you paying attention? Or are you paying attention to the wrong stuff? A voice that sounds a lot like Wisdom as we met her in Proverbs begs us to learn from past experience, so as not to spend money when we can get free stuff. The first generation liberated from Egypt died in the desert because they didn’t learn. And when the people pointed with oohs and ahhs towards current events, Jesus asked them to learn from the past to recognize that some things are not as significant as the eternal choices.
The government has finally woken up to the fact that the health of our children in this country is threatened by their food. For two generations, since World War II, food has become increasingly processed and the era of the fast food meal is well and truly with us.
Karen hates church. She feels it's a place where people are brainwashed. She thinks the people who go to church are weak, looking for a crutch in sermons that tell them how to behave. Karen clearly has an issue with established religion.