Friday, May 11, 2007

Christianity future-oriented

The faith we have in Christ is a faith that embraces in the present a future that is already present in Jesus by the Spirit in his Body in this world. We live as those in whom the past is important in some ways and fleeting in others. In Jesus, his person and work, we see God's great redemptive act in the past to bring into the present the future, now. What we've experienced and the roots of our existence "in Adam" are fleeting and "in Christ" are already a thing of the past. And our present is movement toward the goal in Christ we find in God, toward the perichoretic dance of the Triune God, and this worked out in the new heaven and new earth.

What might weigh me down from the past, or issues and problems in the present is to be lived out as those who are neither tied down by the past or the present, but look forward to more of what we're experiencing now in Jesus, indeed the fulfillment of that (not the best sentence, but the best I can do at the moment). How we get there is all found "in Christ", in his community of faith in mission to the world. It certainly involves leaving behind and forgetting all those things we think are so important, even necessary in fulfilling our humanity. And instead, pressing forward toward the goal to be fulfilled in the future in Christ. That begins now. So if we want to be living out what God intends forever for us, as his children, we can begin to do that now. Indeed by the Spirit we do, but to really live in it in this life requires a denying of self and a willingness to identify fully with Christ. It is a call that we can be overwhelmed in trying to answer and sustain. But it is a call by God in Christ. It is a continuation in the grace of God found in Christ in which we are being renewed more and more to live in God's truth and love. A call that includes all in Jesus until we all reach unity in the faith and become mature, attaining to no less than the whole measure of the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4).

With these words I'm working on this, both in thinking as well as in faith and practice. This truth really does meet us where we live, but I must confess, "I see through a glass darkly" on this (1 Corinthians 13; KJV). But I in community want to keep working on this, and indeed, we must.

Any thoughts to help us here?

(This idea I took on from F. LeRon Shults, Reforming the Doctrine of God)


L.L. Barkat said...

Sometimes it hurts so much to simply see through a glass darkly. Takes trust, and hope.

Ted Gossard said...

It does, L.L. And that's surely a part of the faith to which God calls us. As you point out, that brings out from us trust and continued hope, which we need.