Saturday, August 8, 2015

It's not about "now"

Christian faith, following Jesus, can get bogged down in day to day issues;
Improving the music at church, growing the congregation, finding the next minister, turning up on Sunday's, pleasing the congregation, making our church relevant and up to date with our society,  publishing something, being successful.

Yes, it's part of western church culture.

But trusting Jesus is much more about the future, and by that I mean eternity.

I think one problem we have today, and this certainly includes me, is that we are busy making heaven of our own environments. Eternity is not in our minds.

We want a great home, a great garden, a nice car , a good income, good health, a pretty wife, a good body, great holidays, great weather, the latest technology, some degree of fame, and as few problems as possible.

The list can go on of course.

Maybe never before in history, has there been the general understanding that this is not only possible but also reasonable.

And society accepts and encourages this expectation. Church culture may also support this.

As a result, heaven and hell are not big on our agendas. Heaven is unnecessary as we achieve heaven through our daily lives. Hell is irrelevant as long as we can keep living, and our health holds out.

But it's not like this everywhere, and it wasn't like this in the past.

Many early Christians were martyred for their faith. Today, Christians are also martyred.

It's a difficult word.


Jesus knew where he was going. His life reflected that attitude.

And he said he was going to prepare a place for us too.

It's hard to imagine something better than suburban bliss?

It's what we see on TV, on the big screen.

But it's a bit like Jonah's vine.

God provides a worm and its gone.

Apart from greed, corruption, crime, taxes, violent weather, cancer, inflation, unemployment and other issues that interfere with our nest building, there is always God himself making sure that we are not so comfortable as to forget that this world is passing, deteriorating, groaning.

It is going to drastically change.

That is what Christians believe.

And we believe it is going to be soon.

"Soon" is ambiguous, imprecise.

The point is not exactly how long it will be but rather that the coming events are worth prioritizing for, i.e. being ready.

When a wedding is "soon" then we have to prioritize certain actions such as replying to the invitation, preparing a gift, and having the right clothes to wear.

"Soon" means we need to be prepared to meet Jesus.

He is coming.

And it's a wedding!