In my last post, I concluded with the proposal that our God, the Lion of Judah, cannot be pushed out by any institution, law, or human activity.
But I am still sad. I am still grieving. My sorrow doesn’t even compare to the anguish the families in Newtown, Connecticut are experiencing. I’ve been going on with my daily tasks of caring for the boys, responding to emails, cooking meals, taking care of Church work, writing sermons, and reading.
But it feels so wrong.
There’s no easy answer, is there?
Its times like this we look for answers and we look for signs of hope.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that our world is dark and shattered. Humanity is broken. No matter how many books I read and how many Theology classes I take, I just can’t wrap my brain around all of the pain and distress.
The depth and width of evil is far beyond what I can see or understand. This I do know: our God is bigger than anything.
It is in times like this, I cling to Jesus as the only answer. Jesus knows the pain far greater than any of us. He came to the poor, marginalized, and broken. On the cross, he went to the bottom of the pile and took the world’s brokenness, hate, darkness, sin, and evil upon himself and obliterated it. He conquered the grave and rose to new life. He is truly the first born from among the dead.
It is in Christ that we, the broken people of God, find restoration and healing. We become a new creation and begin to bear God’s image in this world. We have hope that God can take this decaying mess of misfits and restore us to be his image bearers in this world. Transformation must begin now.
It is in Christ we can have hope that we too will rise to new life. Until then, we wait, we live, and we have hope. The Apostle Paul writes,
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
Someday, we will all be liberated from our decaying lives. We can have hope in what’s to come. Read from the Revelation of John:
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
But we don’t sit back, prop our feet up, and say “someday.” No, we live the Kingdom life now. We live the words of Jesus said in the Shema, “Love God with everything and love people like yourself.”
People of God,
Wake up. Live the Kingdom lifestyle now. Live Life in Christ. Love your neighbor. Go to the marginalized. Give until it hurts. Love God with everything. Don’t wait, do it now.
Therefore, we have hope that anyone who is in Christ becomes a new creation and bears God’s image in this world. Collectively, as a people of God we shine the Light of Christ in the dark places. We also have hope that someday, we will partake in the future resurrection and will experience a new life where there will be no more “death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
I have hope.