Tuesday, June 10, 2008

a new world beginnng now

In seeking to better understand God's revelation to us in Jesus and in Scripture, it seems to me that we read of a stark idealism invading the inistent realism of this world. We're reminded constantly through the media that we're in a world with real dangers and troubles, and Scripture certainly verifies that.

But with Jesus comes the invasion of the kingdom of God, destined to take over the world, but here now. It's an invasion which is not meant just for salvation of sinners from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son (Colossians). It's meant in terms for all of life and all the world. Just as we're taught by our Lord to pray: "Your kingdom come (meant in finality and completeness, I take it here), your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." This is meant for all the world, not just for the community of Christians. Actually it's to be strong in us, but not to stop there. We're on mission to help bring this new way of being human individually and corporately and even systemically, in Jesus, into the world.

Too often we Christians retreat behind some "God and I" or "God and us" banner, and little engage the world at all, expecting that it's a hopeless case or of little worth in pursuing, anyhow. I'm less and less convinced that this is a viable position to take when we consider that even now Jesus is the true Lord of the universe and of the earth through his ascension. And that even now God is putting all things under his feet (1 Corinthians 15; Hebrews). We are to think and act in faith accordingly. And we're surely not to limit ourselves to just our own little community as do the Amish, notwithstanding the bright light they have been recently.

No. Our influence in Jesus should reach into our relationships and friendships with others, and should permeate all of life. Bigger than we can do, but this is the work of God even through us, in his kingdom come in Jesus. Beginning now.

This means I look for signs of God's working and also ask God just what I should do to help usher in a different world in Jesus, even into the system now. All kinds of people from William Wilberforce, to Charles Colson to Desmond Tutu, and many more, have and are doing this today.

Do we really think in Jesus we can make a difference in this old world, bringing in something of the new from God's kingdom revealed in Jesus and in Scripture, now? What do you think on this?

Tomorrow: "Howe's Cave - baptism" from L.L. Barkat's book, Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places.


Anonymous said...

Jesus in me can reach others in this world...believers and non believers. i think a new world has always been coming.

i we humans tend to get into a place of relationship and look for comfort there. and in that we do not want to rock the boat or lose what we have gained. and as long as we are comfortable in the place we are in then we have little reason to look beyond that.

but, i think that as followers of Christ, God finds us where we are and takes us beyond our narrow views and even make us want to go outside of our comfort zones. i think in this faith that the Holy Spirit changes us and we struggle with life here and grow into wanting to reach out to others.

Anonymous said...

it is almost like the Holy Spirit does not allow earthly comforts to be what comforts our soul.

Rachel Mc said...

Nancy, your last comment "The Holy Spirit does not allow earthly comforts to be what comforts our soul" I LOVE IT! That is how I have been feeling and it is hard living your life thinking "what's missing" and when you work on your relationship with Christ and that feeling goes away...it is awesome.
These days it is hard to think of a new world coming with all the mess and everything out there, doom & gloom in the world. But I have to keep believing God is in control and has a plan.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Great point about God not letting us get too comfortable here and the way you put it- and getting pushed out beyond our comfort zones. It is so easy for us to remain put and hard for us to get beyond that. Surely praying about it is one way to start, and then reaching out or venturing forth in little ways, one step at a time. Like your community garden!

Ted M. Gossard said...

I like your thought of working on your relationship with Christ. I think maybe that's what God is working on me to do, lately.

I've really slacked off in reading Scripture lately, still at it every day, but very little. This is quite surprising to me. (Did get The Experience- Scripture reading of NT from library this evening, and on waiting list to get entire Bible of that- very well done, so I look forward to that.) But I think much of my Scripture reading lately was getting to mechanical. Now I try to go over it slower and more in a relational tone with God, and not care as much about how much ground I cover as much as how well I cover it, or better put, just how relational it is for me in terms of meeting with God.

Again very well put, Rachel. Yes, that Jesus is Lord we have to take by faith. God being at work through us and at work in spite of all the setbacks. Seems like sin is as strong as gravity in this fallen world. Someday it will be just the opposite.

Let us know if ever you decide to have your own blog.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Not to push you on that, Rachel. Just glad you're sharing with us now.