Monday, February 17, 2014

I betcha that crazy man felt pretty stuck without much hope

“Go home to your own people,” He told him, “And tell them what the Lord has done for you, and how kind He has been to you!” Mark 5:19

The little made-up title to this story, according to Biblegateway, is “Jesus restores a demon-possessed man.” Last night’s midnight meditation by Weston Baker was also about restoration, or, rather the Ephesians 7:10 redemption: It is through the Son, at the cost of his own blood, that we are redeemed, freely forgiven through that full and generous grace which has overflowed into our lives and opened our eyes to the truth. For God had allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: He purposes in His sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in Him.

And sometimes my thoughts are not so much about the kindness of God. It is pretty easy for my thoughts to drift to the aching, unfulfilled hopes and the smashedness of the fall, the rattling around in the tombs with broken shackles part. But that isn’t the end of the story.

And we are to be about the good news, the freely forgiven and full and generous grace denouement, unraveling after the climax. The violent darkness shouts at us all day long, and no one needs to be reminded of it. And each of us can get stuck there and lose heart.

Yesterday morning NPR had a story about some evangelists who “love sports and love God,” so this is their fourth or fifth Olympics that they have gone to share their version of Black as sin, Red as blood, White as snow and, well, Gold as in streets of gold. And the lady was getting a little bogged down, “..and when we die and go to heaven, there will be streets of gold…isn’t that great?  How do you feel about streets of gold?” The woman with the heavy Russian accent seemed more concerned about some darkness that she was facing right now in life, but the evangelist kept going back to the streets of gold.

And I sure don’t understand everything about this secret plan of God, but I sure don’t think it has much to do about streets paved with god.  Or even about that tree with different fruits every season. And this red blood is really about redeeming the brokenness. And His kindness right now. He Who heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds. Who proclaims freedom for the captives and release from darkness. And Jesus rolled up the parchment and said, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

So today, let me be about speaking the truth, the very measurable and beautiful kindness of God which has overflowed into my life, the consummation of everything that exists in Heaven and earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in Him.