Praying for the world when bad news abounds

On a trip to the Holy Land in 2008, I found myself riveted by an unusual mosaic of Jesus on the Church of All Nations, depicting Jesus as our intercessor, kneeling at the center of the image with two groups of people flanking him.

The rotten fruit of ‘niceness’

The problem is that a gospel of niceness provides little support for the true terror and tragedy of life. It doesn’t stand up to death, loss, failure, and the reality of other people’s sinfulness and our own.