This Sunday at Trinity will be the second to last message in our "Easter 101: All things made new" series, where we have been pushing deeply into the amazing, broad, Biblical truth of Resurrection. If you have time, I encourage you to listen to these online (links below), as these topics are immensely important for us as Disciples of Jesus, and we honestly don't give them much thought. In any case, last week we unpacked the different worldviews (Biblical and secular) about how people see the future, and why this matters so much for believers. The bottom-line conclusion we reached was that our world- for all of its brokenness- matters intensely! Rather than naively believing mankind (or even the church) can fix things on our own, or fatalistically rooting for the world's quick demise, Scripture calls us to the Divine work of bringing about God's Kingdom and Will upon this world right now, just as it is in Heaven, right now.
As followers of Christ, we aren't called to just sit around and wait for Jesus's return (or our own departure). Rather, we are called to love, invest in, and make this deteriorating world a better place, daily working to plant the seeds of God's Kingdom by how we live, how we love, and what we say. The first half of my message Sunday will continue with this thought, focusing very specifically and practically on what this looks like. Does our theology of Resurrection impact and shape matters such as our idea of environmental stewardship? Well, actually, yes. It should. What about issues such as abortion, religious and political freedom, equality, and justice? YES. How we understand Resurrection will impact these issues as well. In the end (pun intended) the lens of resurrection through which we view the future has great power to change how we live today. Resurrection not only promises that we will experience transformation (and indeed, that we already are), it also calls us to be agents of transformation.
To try and put it succinctly, the New Covenant truth of Resurrection is not about us one day finally abandoning this world, but rather Christ returning to re-create this world. Our world is not trash that will one day be forgotten, but rather a treasure, badly damaged as it may be, that was created by God and will one day be restored by God. (Friends, this is a huge concept!) In the meantime, (meaning now), we are called to be God's agents of Resurrection, continuing the work that He started on Easter and will bring to completion in His time. That will be our first big thought Sunday. (Whew!)
The second thing we will then explore is the under-taught, often misunderstood, but essential reality of Christ's ascension. This will be a fascinating discussion, and I'll leave it at that for now. As you gather with your own congregations this week, I ask that you pray for us and how God is leading and growing our church family here in the Mountains of Colorado.
Love you all, and may the immeasurable riches of God's Grace be made known to you,
Jesus was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.