For all of you who were praying for this event, let me first say thank you. The presentations I shared will be on our website shortly. Yet what meant the most to me this weekend was not the responses to my presentations, as positive as those were.
I met quite a few people over the weekend who were visitors to the church (as well as those who call this church their weekly home), and what left me most moved is the realization that there really is something special taking place within Western Christianity right now.
There is a rediscovering taking place in all traditions regarding what “the Kingdom” actually is. How it challenges our present way of seeing God, our present way of defining ourselves, and our present way of relating to and arranging the world around us. I see a resurgence in people’s hearts to rediscover what the Jesus story is really all about. Remember, the hope of the Hebrew people was not to become a disembodied soul at death on some far distant cloud. Their hope was of a time when the Messiah would come and all injustice, oppression, and violence (IOV) would be put right. Through Jesus’s death and resurrection, he has been made the forerunner in this new world, the “healer” that will usher us from the old age into the age to come (Acts 5.31).
In fact, the “Kingdom” is here, yet not all IOV has been made subject to New Creation. Today we still encounter IOV in matters of race, class, money, gender, and sexuality. And where Christianity has been the pawn of such IOV for the past 1,700 years, today I am witnessing Christians waking up to this reality, rediscovering what their Jesus story is all about, and choosing to walk away from Christendom to follow Jesus into this radical new world once again.
God did not send Jesus into this world to condemn this world, but that the world, through him, might be healed (see John 3.17).
Today, I see those who have been blindly used to perpetuate IOV in the name of Jesus waking up all around me to what Jesus called “the Kingdom”—a whole new way of arranging life here and now.
It’s an exciting time to be alive, for sure. We are living in one of those special times when those who come after us will look back and wish they could have been us. Things are changing. The future is bright! (Depending on which place on the hierarchical pyramid of privilege you find yourself in.) The radically inclusive Kingdom is swelling. And if we have eyes to see it, if we allow ourselves, through letting go of our old places of privilege, to be “born again,” through the death of our old worlds and through a resurrection into the new, if you have eyes to see it (John 3.3), what is happening all around us right now is breathtakingly beautiful!
Till the only world that remains is a world where love reigns.