Saturday, April 2, 2011
theGospel: Hope pushing back hopelessness
When we get a new bookshelf at the Pettefer house, I get the hammer, drill and screwdriver, and April sits nearby with the instruction manual, and we put it together...together.
I like images and drawings. They help me remember and remind me how to tell someone else what I learned. So when we're building the shelf, I look at the drawings, April reads the instructions, and before long, we have a great looking piece of furniture assembled and ready to use!
I've been thinking lately about how God's Kingdom is at work right here, right now. A friend used a 4 Circle drawing to share the big picture of God's story and I thought it was really helpful. (I'll share it soon.)
The last part of that drawing is depicting the movement of God's kingdom that started when Jesus came out of the grave, and will be completed when He comes back. When He does return, He will make everything right. Until then, the earth has so much that is not right... The evidence of the fall of man is all around: family destruction, self-destruction...and the pain of it is overwhelming.
So what is God doing now, using the people who have been made alive in Jesus?
He's about bringing Hope; bringing it to where hopelessness has set up camp and is pushing the accelerator speeding the downward spiral of death and decay.
Hope arrives in Jesus. It enters people who turn to the Lord and see His rescue plan...and put their trust in God's grace in Jesus. Then Hope steps out to touch people, people who without Jesus are feeling hopeless. (Oh, I know that we put on masks and keep ourselves busy, trying to pretend it's not there. But eventually, everybody gets to the point where we see the death sentence that comes from our rebellion from God, and the need for a rescue.)
Hope in Jesus is carried in the people who have been made alive by Him into every corner of the world, to shine His light and push back the hopelessness of a fleeting life apart from God.
I'm rejoicing that God is the One at work, using Jesus' body left on the earth, the Church, to move His kingdom forward. Hopelessness doesn't stand a chance when Jesus shows up.
Believing that theCityWillBeDifferent, paul