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.