File

File

Minister’s Message: Bible answers the ultimate question

What is the ultimate question that keeps us up at night and nags at our heart?

By Rick Cupp

For the Peninsula Clarion

In the hilarious first book of “The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy,” (spoiler alert!) Arthur Dent, an earthman now traveling the stars with his friends, hears the story of an ultimate computer: “Deep Thought.” It is given the task of solving the answer to the question of life, the Universe, and everything. After 5 million years of computation it gives the answer: 42.

Everyone is upset until the computer points out that the answer doesn’t make sense only because the people don’t know what the ultimate question is. Figure out the question and the answer will make sense.

Through comedy, the author has made a good point. What is the question? What is the ultimate question that keeps us up at night and nags at our heart? There are several and I want to quickly suggest three.

The first, “Is there a God?” That answer will answer many others: Does my life have meaning? Is there purpose to the universe?

The second question is, “Can I find love and forgiveness?” That answer will answer other questions: Is there hope? How should I live?

These two are answered joyfully in the Bible. There is a loving God who has created us and his son, Jesus, came to this earth to give his life for us and allow us to be completely and totally forgiven.

But there is yet another question, answered in the Bible, but the answer is harder to see with our physical eyes. Despite God, love, and forgiveness, we now see a world where evil things happen. Indeed, sometimes evil people do evil things for evil purposes. That brings hostility and anger, pain received and pain given. So what is the third question?

It is this: “Is everything alright, ultimately?” To ask that is to ask if good will eventually win out over evil. It is to ask if we can hope. Asking that question is simply asking if we have been right to place our faith in God.

The overwhelming witness of scripture and those who have gone before us is: Yes! Yes we can put our faith in God.

Consider the story of Joseph, the man with the coat of many colors. After his brothers have sold him into slavery, God works with Joseph to bring about good things. Joseph later speaks to his brothers and says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” — Genesis 50:20

Joseph’s answer is that even when evil people do evil things with evil purposes, God can and will turn those things into good.

It is the marvelous witness of faith. Ultimately, God will bring good out of every evil thing. Suffering is temporary and a loving God waits for us all to come home, even when we don’t see it.

Elizabeth Gilbert says, “Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.” And with the three answers the Bible gives to our ultimate questions, that is enough for me.

Rick Cupp is minister at Kenai Fellowship. Worship is livestreamed on Facebook at 11 a.m. Sunday mornings. Look up “Rick Cupp” and go to the page with the Kenai Fellowship sign as the backdrop picture to join us. We hope to be meeting again at the building — soon!

More in Life

This screenshot from the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference website shows the faculty who will be attending the conference, held virtually May 15-18. From left to right, top row, are Francisco Cantu, Victoria Chang, Ernestine Hayes, and Brandon Hobson. From left to right, bottom row, are Anis Mojgani, Marie Mutsuki Mockett and Vera Starbard.
Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference includes readings for the public

After hiatus, annual event back as program transitions out of pandemic

Alex Rydlinski holds one of his pieces in an Instagram photo from July 18, 2020. (Alex Rydlinski)
Alex Rydlinski holds one of his pieces in an Instagram photo from July 18, 2020. (Alex Rydlinski)
Art Guild welcomes self-taught artist as new executive director

Originally from Fairbanks, Rydlinski was looking for a place “off the grid”

Foreground, from left to right: Kenai Middle School seventh grader Cooper Tallent-Darling and eighth grader Gavin Hunt perform as their “Lion King” characters, Simba and Mufasa, while the rest of the cast acts in the background. The school drama department recorded and filmed a rendition of the Disney movie and premiered it in May 2021. (Photo provided by Kenai Middle School drama)
Kenai Middle School produces movie musical rendition of ‘The Lion King Jr.’

The film is available to stream online this weekend.

Sierra Moskios is the coordinator for the REC Room. Moskios recently received an Alaska Afterschool Superhero award for her dedication to the youth of Homer. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Moskios earns Alaska Afterschool Superhero award

Sierra Moskios earned the Alaska Afterschool Superhero award for her dedication to Homer youth.

A souffle omelet takes a delicate hand but offers rich flavors and sophisticated textures. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A Mother’s Day omelet from the heart

Mother’s Day has been one of the hardest days of every year since my mother left this world 13 years ago.

Brie and caramel apple voulevant is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, photographed in April, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A celebration of food

Make first gatherings special with this simple but sophisticated brie and caramel apple voulevant.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Time to enjoy, not to annoy

I’m already overhearing growing concerns about whether or not the usual influx of tourists to the peninsula will be dampened due to the surging tsunami of fuel costs.

Photos courtesy John Schoen
Mary Beth Schoen admires a large-tree old-growth stand in Saook Bay on northeastern Baranof Island. Some individual trees were over 6 feet in diameter and many centuries old. This riparian area was adjacent to a salmon stream and was full of bear trails. Large-tree old growth stands are rare on the Tongass.
‘Tongass Odyssey’ explores decades of research, politics and change

‘What we learned is that old growth forest is very important’

Will Morrow (courtesy)
When did I get wise?

When did I turn into that old guy who feels like he has to give everyone else advice?

Most Read