The baby of Christmas became the young man of Good Friday and if we had known God we would not have been astonished at either one.

Peter speaks of the sacrificed Jesus as foreknown from the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:18-19) and John speaks of Christ as having been slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). What does that mean? It might mean no more than that the death of Christ was purposed right from the beginning. I’m sure that’s involved and in those verses that might be all the writers had in mind; but in light of the whole biblical witness I think that’s only part of the truth. Something lies behind the purpose!
The biblical Story assures us that because God is what He is, the cross was inevitable because it was built into His character. Out of sheer holy, joy-filled life God created the human family, wanting for it holy, joy-filled life with Him and on the understanding that humanity would choose to rebel He inevitably moved to redeem it.
His free and sovereign choice to redeem us arose and arises from the heart and character that is God’s own choosing. No law commanded Him for He is subject to nothing and no one. What He is, is holy, by an eternal choosing, and because He is what He is and chooses to be what He is, it was inevitable that He would come to our rescue. And that is what John meant when he speaks of Christ having been slain since the foundation of the world.
That’s what Peter meant when he says that the sacrifice of Christ was foreknown from the foundation of the world. That’s what Paul was declaring in the “hymn” of Philippians 2:5-11 when he said that the Word that became flesh in Jesus Christ (John 1:14) didn’t think that His equality with God was to be spent to His own advantage. In light of how He saw His own Godhood He emptied Himself (that is, chose incarnation, servanthood, obedience and death as a rebel against the world powers). He did not empty Himself of Himself; that could not be! God cannot cease to be God but if He had ceased to be God in “emptying” Himself then it would not have been God that was revealed in Jesus Christ. Had He emptied Himself of Himself then what He revealed would not have been Himself. No, His self-revelation, spoken of as “emptying” Himself was His hiding His glory by becoming a human and sharing “the human condition” as a human, gladly obeying, suffering and dying. But the God who became flesh was and is fully God and not less than fully God. It was the omnipotent, omniscient and limitless God who was ceaselessly choosing to be that limited man Jesus of Nazareth.
When eternal holy love meets sinners it is destined to suffer on their behalf. This is not God’s fate, it is God’s eternal choosing. Had we known Him leading up to creation, as we now know Him in Jesus Christ, we would have known that when He created He was making a cross on which to die. The deed (as it were) was done because the character of the God shown to us in Jesus Christ was eternally present and the cross was the historical revelation of it.
God didn’t change at the cross. He didn’t become someone else. He wasn’t slumming. The Hebrew writer is right. If you have really been to Calvary, if you’ve seen it and know it and are sure of it, you’ll know that this wasn’t a passing mood with God. It’s His unchanging mind toward us and not something outside of God’s “ordinary mode of life.” The cross (that is, His self-giving heart and way) wasn’t something He turned to in one supreme effort, something He steeled Himself for, before going back to a lower and more self-absorbed mode of being. Once you know Him, truly know Him, you know Him forever for He doesn’t change! He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That’s part of what the Holy Scripture means when it says the one we know as Jesus was crucified before the world began.

But the Truth doesn’t end there. Because He is what He is and loves what He loves and purposes what He purposed He was resurrected before the world began for He not only died for us before the world began He lived for us before it began.

(Holy One, what are we to say? Sometimes in your presence we simply stand speechless. Most of the time we fumble with words because we can’t keep silent and because you are yet an “unknown God”. We know enough to know that because of your love for us that will be fully experienced in a coming day but revealed to us in Jesus Christ your limitless power is not a threat but an assurance. This prayer in Jesus our Lord.)


God created “the world” and created humanity in relation to it and as lord over it (Psalm 8 & Hebrews 2:5-9 which further develops the truth of Psalm 8). Humanity was to respond to the world as the image of God and as part of the world created. Humanity was not created independent of the creation—it was/is part of it and lives as part of it. This means humans existed and lived in relation to one another and all things essential to their lives as humans.

Colossians 1:16 teaches us that the creation included essential power structures as well as all that is essential to human existence (time, space, materiality and such). The entire creation was created in and through and for the Lord Jesus. He was not only the “context” (en) in which creation was purposed and carried out, He was the instrument or agent through which (dia) God created it and He is the goal for which creation came to exist (eis) and it is in Him that it is to come to its unending consummation. So the Word (the Son of God) who was with God and was God (John 1:1-2) was the agent of creation who viewed the consummation as coming to consummation in the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus to whom all authority was given and with whom all who are embraced in His redeeming work will reign with Him (Ephesians 1:19-23; Romans 8:16-19; Hebrews 2:5-9, and compare Ephesians 2:5-6 for faith’s grasp of it now),
God’s creative act of Genesis 1 & 2 deals with creation in relation to humanity in its initial phase of existence. Humanity as in the first Adam is of the earth—earthy (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). That phase of human existence (earth/dust—with the implication of creaturely weakness and limits) is not to be despised because God not only created it He became part of it and communes with us in and through it; He willed to have us live in it in His image.
But we rejected our Creator & Father and chose our own way, corrupting ourselves and all around us. The world in which we live has been cursed because of us. All the structures by which we live and the material, natural blessings, that are part of creation, were re-envisioned and used corruptly and so, without choosing to do so, they became part of and tools in our corruption and corrupt purposes (compare Romans 8:19 and context). Sin had set up its palace home in humanity and Paul calls it “sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3) and our sinful history is well summarized in the person of our father Adam (Romans 5: 12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
So creation became both the God-created initial phase of human being and it became a self-corrupted first phase that needed to be redeemed if the final phase of God-purposed human life were to be consummated. God did not turn from His ultimate loving purpose toward humankind and in order to consummate it humankind would need to be reconciled with Him.
Our currently corrupt phase is certainly not what God purposed but neither was our mortal phase prior to the Fall His ultimate purpose. What He had purposed for us was and is a more glorious existence, an existence that would come to us in and through the human we have come to know as Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God who would do two things—He would reconcile us to God and in the course of doing that He would destroy Sin and Death. Sin insisted on being an inseparable barrier between humanity and God and the loving God would not permit Sin to have that power and came in and as Jesus to make that clear. He came to open our hearts and draw us to Himself (Acts 16:14; John 12:32).
(We see that kind of defeat of wrong illustrated in humans who have been rejected and slandered but because they loved the slanderer they continued to pursue (restored) friendship and gained it. In such cases forgiveness is essential but it is a means to a larger end; it seeks LIFE in friendship in which grace expresses more than forgiveness, though not less.)
Creation in Genesis is to be seen as an initial phase of human existence that did not, because it was not meant to be the final word on creation. It was eternally purposed to find its consummation and fulfillment in the resurrected and glorified Jesus of Nazareth who was/is God being a man. And since He is the representative human (the “last Adam”—1 Corinthian 15:45; Romans 5:14) in whom all the redeemed are resurrected and glorified, a new phase of the creation is reached in Him—the consummation of God’s creative purpose.
With the Fall (humanity’s self-corruption and its corruption of all it touches) the entire creation needs renewed as well as brought to its divinely purposed goal. The consummation is more than bringing things back to what they were before the Fall for what was before the Fall was not the consummation of the creation but the beginning and a passing phase. Jesus Christ, resurrected and glorified, is the beginning of the new humanity and the beginning of a “new creation.”

He was “in the world” (the Fallen world), another human like all other humans (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:10-15) and He shared all the consequences of its fallen state even to the point of experiencing death. It didn’t end there for He rose from the dead and in the resurrection assured humans that God remained righteous and faithful to His creation commitment—He himself was the living revelation of the consummation of that creation commitment. In Him the creation is brought to its goal and is “reconciled” to God (Colossians 1:16, 19; Romans 8:19-23; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19). When all the redeemed of all the ages are resurrected and glorified (see Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:42-55) not only will the corruption have been obliterated from the creation it will also have been brought from glory to consummated glory. Once more, in Jesus the creation is not only cleansed, it is brought to the state where God has purposed to bring it to in the first place.

Jesus is the incarnation of God but He is God incarnate! Jesus is a man! He is the man God is being, According to the fatherly and sovereign will of God Jesus is one of us! God in and as Jesus became a “creature” (Colossians 1:15), a son of Adam (Luke 3:23, 38; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 2:10-14). It isn’t the case that He was once one of us—He is one of us and will remain so. He is the preeminent one among us all. He is the human to whom God gave all power and authority and He is the human in whom the eternal purpose of God has begun to be consummated. In Him and in Him alone God has demonstrated the defeat of Sin & Death and introduced Life and immortality to a world dominated by Death (2 Timothy 1:9-10; Hebrews 2:14) and so a new world began.
In Him because He is God being a man, He is not only the resurrected and glorified one, He is the resurrecting one and the one who brings humans to glory and immortality, He is the resurrection and Life ((John 5:26; 6:50-51, 57; 11:25-26).

All that is true; nevertheless He is a human (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15) and His Holy Father is not only His Holy Father He is “the God of Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; Colossians1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31 and John 220:17). This human, this actual and fully human human is also the God who creatively chooses to be that human. In John 20:17, Jesus having been resurrected in glory says to Mary, “…go to my brothers and say to them; I am ascending to My Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.” With Jesus, this human Jesus, now immortal and all glorious humanness takes on a new mode of being; humanness no less human but glorious beyond expression. In Him we see what God eternally purposed to bring humanity to and it is in Him we find the God who purposed such a purpose.

In Him, in His very person as God freely and lovingly choosing to be a human, we find God and humanity reconciled by Incarnation. The motive that led God to redeem us and to show us what He eternally purposed for us is the same motive that led Him to create us in the first place—Love! See Psalm 136 in its entirety. The first 9 verses deal with the God who creates and the remaining 10-26 are all brought under the same motive, “His faithful love endures forever.”

He created because He was being faithful to His own loving intention and He redeems out of the same heart. However difficult it is for us to believe, we have done nothing that changed His heart’s desire for us. But if we are confronted with Him and make it clear that we don’t want Him or the Life and glory He has for us as a gift then we self-destruct. I don’t believe He responds by inflicting us with everlasting and ceaseless and conscious torment but I do believe we chose death and everlastingly miss the wonder of Life.


Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ there is no way to make contact with Jesus. He’s dead! He lived for about thirty-three years and has been dead for 2,000. He is not only dead He has perished (1 Corinthians 15:18). There is no one to make contact with!
He has to be alive if we are to be able to make contact with Him.

“Yes, but even if He is alive we can’t make contact with Him—we can’t physically feel or see or hear Him.”

That’s true enough.

“So we only know He is alive because we hear stories or reports about Him.”

That’s true enough, but if the reports and stories about Him and messages from Him are true and real would that not be contact?

“Well, it wouldn’t be personal contact with Him.”

Why not? If your friend that you haven’t seen in years sent you a letter would that not be personal contact?
In a case like that we aren’t making contact with the letter. The letter is the means by which the person is making contact with a person. That’s personal contact, is it not?

“But it’s not the same as a face to face physical contact.”

True, but neither is a phone call or a letter though they are the ways and means of genuine personal contact. When people write to one another there is a genuine “meeting of minds.” It isn’t letters that meet one another. The letters aren’t merely letters, they are one person making contact with another; two people are meeting and that is making contact. The thoughts of one enter into the other.

If the letter is insulting the reader isn’t angry with the letter but with the writer, the person. If it is praise or encouragement the reader isn’t pleased with the paper and writing but with the living person that wrote them. We’re not to deny that actual persons make contact with one another and inspire and empower one another or discourage and weaken one another. The contact is real though it isn’t the physically face to face kind.
But we have no right in the face of life itself, the kind of life we all experience day by day, to reduce the word contact to a physical hearing, seeing or feeling experience. Through a message a real person makes contact with a real person as surely as if they had made a physical face to face meeting. We mustn’t dismiss this truth.

Daily life confirms what Paul says in Romans 10:14-17 that people can’t trustingly call on the Lord for help if they have never heard of Him. Faith comes by hearing the gospel (10:17). If there is no one writing the letter or making the call there is no letter or call, there is no contact and there is no meeting of minds. There can be no reaction to a letter that was never written. We can easily imagine someone back in the first century saying, “I never met Jesus face to face but I got a lovely letter from Him.”  If that had happened it would have been Jesus who made contact with that person.
We don’t need to imagine Peter saying this to Jewish Christians about Jesus because he actually said it: “…whom not having seen you love. Though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory…” and of whom the prophets spoke things “reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you…” (1 Peter 1:8, 12).
They had never physically met Jesus but though the gospel reported to them in preaching they met Jesus; not just talk about Jesus. Through these  prophets and NT preachers, Jesus made Himself known. They made contact with Jesus Himself in the truth told about Him. It changes nothing that they or we meet Jesus through persons He commissioned to spread the truth about Him. In equipping them and sending them He makes Himself present in and to them and us.

(This has profound ramifications for those who are called to proclaim Him.)

In Ephesians 2:17 Paul said Jesus preached to Gentiles as well as Jews though it was through His messengers He did it. In Acts people are healed “in the name of” Christ but in 9:34 Peter flatly says, “Jesus Christ healed you.” The power behind the preaching or the healing or the saving is a living Person doing it through gospelers. Jesus saves, God saves through the proclamation of the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:18-24 and it is the proclaimed Lord Jesus who is to us wisdom, righteousness, redemption and sanctification (1:30).
But if there is no resurrected and immortal Jesus of Nazareth—if He is dead—we have nothing to preach or believe (1 Corinthians 15:13). The power of the Lord Himself is invested in His words (John 6:63). It is Him—He enters by the words He sends to us through servants (Colossians 3:16; James 1;18; 1 Peter 1;23; John 8:32; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Acts 20:32). It isn’t just the words, it is GOD who makes Himself present, to be rejected or accepted. We don’t just reject words if we reject God—we reject GOD. Read carefully 1 Thessalonians 2:13. It isn’t the words that are speaking; it is GOD speaking the words through gospelers.
There are those who believe that Jesus died 2 thousand years ago and has perished. There is no one to contact; there is no one to contact us. It was just that he was so morally fine, so compassionate and unselfish that those who came to know him couldn’t let his memory die and Christianity was born. The worship of a long and forever dead young man began. Contact can be made with memories and stories but the crucifixion ended him! That will do for some.
All who admire and find the long dead Jesus inspirational must on their own view end up like the Jesus they admire—they everlastingly perish and so does the entire human race if Jesus is dead.

                                     “But now is Christ risen!”


It wasn’t just His dying—it was and is the meaning of His dying; it’s nature, purpose and implications! The reason a person does something is part of what he/she is doing! Motivation cannot be separated from what they are doing.

Jesus’ death was self-giving. No one snatched it from Him against His will (John 10:18). “You think I couldn’t stop this?” He asked Peter in the garden when His enemies came for Him. (Matthew 26:53-54 and John 18:11).

Of course Jesus’ death was unique (!) but He wasn’t alone in gladly laying down His life. He spoke of people who would lay down their lives for their friends, we read in Hebrews 11 about women who gladly gave up their lives and we see and hear about such a thing every day—people gladly giving their lives away for love or honor or compassion for others.

In Jesus’ case the Hebrew writer says (2:9) He embraced death “for every human.” Paul said He died “for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3) and John said He died to deal with the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). He has no “pet” nation (never did!).

He came and lived and died along with us and chose to do it! He went to the cross dragging Sin and Death with Him (1 Peter 2:24; Galatians 6:14; Hebrews 2:14-15) and crucified them there. All that He did, said Paul, “According to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Though it was “just one more death,” another example of injustice and among millions, it was never “just one more death.”

He came saying to the unfaithful Jewish nation (as prophets constantly described it), “I’ve come to deal with your Sin problem and tell you God is not faithless and will keep His promises.” (Romans 15:8) And this He did in keeping with the Scriptures (Jeremiah 31:31-34). And to the nations of the world He said, “You too! Your sin problem.” (Romans 1:18-32; 15:9 and 3:19-20 with 11:32)

But He came not only to deal with the Sin problem—He came to bring humans to glory, a glory not understood, a glory beyond human conception or expression (1 John 3:1-2). Human Sin and sins stood in the way of God’s free, sovereign, fatherly and loving purpose, which was to bring humans to glory and God sent His Son as Savior to deal with it (Hebrews 2:5-15). Precisely how Jesus dealt with it has been debated from day one! That His death is multifaceted, it had/has numerous purposes that can be distinguished but not separated from each other—that everyone knows. (There are those who insist that sins can only be punished out of existence and Christ came so that God could punish Him in order to obliterate Sin and sins. And so the thought arose in many people that Jesus came to save us from His Father who has no alternative but condemn us if He doesn’t punish someone to keep from punishing us. Others, remembering that Jesus is God incarnate, are left with the sense that God came to save us from Himself. It seems that there is something in God, in the Godself, something essential to Godhood that means there can be no “gracious forgiveness”—sins must be punished to the nth degree.)

But the forgiveness of sins is, however we differ on it being dealt with in Jesus Christ, is essential to life with God. For there can be no everlasting peace and joy and fellowship and mutual love with Him if we everlastingly seek to be His enemy. It’s not a legal issue; it is relational. The divine motive that undergirds and is prior to a believer’s faith, and produces that faith, is God’s faithful love. He purposed ultimate glory for humans and came in Jesus to see that purpose through. In our Sin we told God we didn’t want Him or the Life He offers, and He, in His own image and in His keeping faith with Himself (Titus 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:11-13), came to tell us that He wants us and wants life with us.
Not “business as usual.” But glory, mystery, joy, peace, adventure, transformation to immortality and transformation of the creation that will be fitted for the life and living of a new humanity (Romans 8:18-25).
God’s redeeming work was never about the forgiveness of sins in isolation! It was always about bringing us to the glory that Jesus of Nazareth has gained on our behalf (Romans 8:16-18). It was always about glorifying the man Jesus Christ that in His very person a new redeemed humanity, a new redeemed world would come into being, in the human, our brother as Lord of all (Ephesians 1:10-11, 15-23; Colossians 1:15-20), There’s no loss of humanity; there’s the glorification of humanity! We’re not robbed of ourselves, we are enriched. It’s this truth and more that Jesus brought and brings, now having transcended creaturely weakness and, as a human, forever experiencing glory unimaginable to us in our yet earth-bound concepts (compare 1 Peter 1:5-11).
The aim of it all is the glorification of a God who is a Lover (Psalm 136 and 1 John, passim) and who glorifies Himself in loving us and offering us the glory that is imaged in the immortal and all glorious Lord Jesus who is not ashamed to be called our brother (Philippians 3:20-21; Hebrews 2:10-11).

There IS a day coming when the truth we can now know by faith will be our new bodily experience in a new creation. 


There would be something fully tragic in consigning a beautiful powerful beast like a bull elephant to pulling a Tinker Toy for the rest of its life.

In Jesus, in Him personally, we see God’s eternal purpose regarding humans (Colossians 1:15-16), all things were created for Him and by the resurrection He was designated God’s Son (Romans 1:4), declared to be the Supreme One (Colossians 1:18) and the firstborn among many He counts brothers (Romans 8:29-30; Hebrews 2:11-15).
The resurrected Lord remains human. Showing His wounds and saying, “Don’t be afraid, it’s Me” (Luke 24:36-39; John 20:19-20) and identifies Himself as the same Lord Jesus they had always known. Not a clone, not a “something non-human” or “a spirit which does not have flesh and bones,”  nor a substitute for Jesus. Thomas sees the wounds, is invited to examine them so as to be assured that this was indeed the very Jesus that was crucified, their Teacher and Master. But the wounds were not on a corpse; they were not on the corpse of their beloved Teacher, Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 2:23; John 1:45; 20:27-28). The human now standing before them very much alive, is Jesus of Nazareth, (adopted) son of Joseph, son of Adam (Luke 3:23, 38). This human, the one who is now glorified in resurrection has not jettisoned humanness but has exalted it above Sin and Death and corruption in all its forms (see Acts 13:33-37; Romans 6:6-11). He the resurrected and deathless one, and He alone, is the assurance of our glorious resurrection to immortality (Romans 6:6-11 with 1 John 3:1-2; Philippians 3:20-21).
The resurrected Lord Jesus, is the same and yet not the same! He is the human Jesus still but He is now the glorified and immortal Jesus who has raised the meaning of humanness to a new and up to now an unknown mode of glorious being (2 Timothy 1:8-10). In His own person He is and reveals this!
This human who is God incarnate and remains God incarnate forever, is in His very self the everlasting witness of God’s reconciliation with humanity that had rejected Him and became the palace home of Sin that reigned over it through Death (Romans 8:3 with 5:12, 21). He, Himself without sin, was sent by the Father bearing the self-same human nature that was dominated by Sin and Death, to condemn Sin (and Death) in humanity. He condemned it by His own sinless life before God and Man and condemned it by living through suffering to the point of dying and then rising (8:11-17, 29).
The incarnation, the sinless life, the self-giving death and the resurrection all, as a single human experience (Jesus’) are God’s way of saying to the world, “In Jesus of Nazareth and His union with Me I have nullified the reign of Sin & Death and I did it for humankind. In a faith relation to Him Sin and Death have been rendered impotent. To continue to choose to live “in the flesh” is to reject life (Romans 8:12-13) but if by faith you embrace Him in His death and resurrection you will live (8:10-13 with 6:3-11).

(Holy One, help us in the glorious Lord Jesus to see and rejoice in and speak truths that are worthy of your greatness and faithful love. Do it for us and in the light of your wondrous Self deliver us from our childish pleasure in thoughts that are not worthy of you. This prayer in Jesus our blessed Lord and Savior.)


Matthew 15:21-28. She said, “I’m not asking for the children’s food, don’t want them to be neglected. I’ll settle for the scraps. Your crumbs are all I need for they’re more than a full-sized meal.”

A text says, “As many as touched Him (His garment) were made perfectly whole.” Matthew 14:36; Mark 6:56. Someone I can’t trace said this of Jesus, “His way through the world had something of the character of a triumphal procession of the powers of life and gladness, for where He came, people who scarcely knew by what name to call Him, hailed Him as One who was clearly enjoying His chosen task of helping men.” (Wish I’d said that.)

It’s right to see Sin as the life-sucking parasite that it is and we must see the somber side of the business of defying and destroying it. It’s vitally important, however, for us to see every victory over it as a matter of supreme joy, something to celebrate, something to smile, even dance, about. Whoever is killing this killer must surely be rejoicing, must surely find satisfaction and profound pleasure and if in the hospital the doctors came to us, with relief on their faces, to tell us that we had turned the corner and that the devourer was dying, would we not rejoice?

The analogy’s limited but it’s a good one and we must surely see Jesus as going through the world with joy in His heart and a smile on his young face. This is life He is dispensing, health He is handing out as He destroys the dominion of Sin and sets the prisoners free and heals the diseased.
When the disciples came from a mission of healing and proclaiming and told Him that the evil powers were subject to them because of His name we’re told that Jesus rejoiced! Did He laugh out loud? I don’t know but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if He did! He knew what this all meant and He saw the gates of hell tremble and the foundations of Satan’s city, Pandemonium, shake because He had a vision of Satan’s overthrow in the transformation of the lives if a number of actual humans. Each one of these was more than a specific blessing of one person, it was a prophecy and a promise of more to come. Each specific defeat of Sin was the promise of complete obliteration on a coming day.
And for those of you who make it your business to go about in the name of Jesus healing and easing the burden of the oppressed allow yourself the pleasure of knowing that you’re continuing the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And even if you don’t yet do such lovely in the name of the Lord Jesus He is doing it through you and is pleased about it. Know that all of you, any of you, are anticipating the day when He will return and right all wrongs and fill this earth with joyful righteousness. When you help the jobless to get a job, the lonely to find friendship, the voiceless to be heard, the hungry to be fed and the naked to be clothed—when you do these things, rejoice in them; it’s the work of God in the world! Give your every cup of cold water with gladness! Go home pleased from the family you helped to get a warm house, their electric reconnected, shoes for the kids or a job for the despairing. Go home and wander from room to room joy-filled that you and Jesus have things in common—you’re both bearing witness to the day when peace and prosperity and dignity and honor will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. And you who teach, you who preach the GOSPEL and not some sickly substitute for it, leave the lectern or the pulpit happy that you are undermining forts of folly and centers of evil by truth that transforms by generating faithful trust.
To reduce our commitment of faith in Jesus Christ to church-going, hymn-singing, the pursuit of correct views and personal inner moral excellence and act as though everything else—economics, social change and justice for all—was someone else’s business is a blunder of major proportions.
It’s wrong for us—especially our leaders—to turn the church into a moral keep-fit organization with worship-gymnasiums filled with mirrors so we can look at ourselves and see how our souls are developing, how muscled we are, how shapely and well-toned we are! This generates only smugness and smugness generates isolation from those we look down on. It isn’t right for us to see our involvement in community justice and development as one of our exercises that will build our spiritual muscles! The “spiritual disciplines” stress in teaching can’t be all bad but like all other fine endeavors that involve long periods of looking at ourselves they’re very risky!
Heeeeeeeeere she/he IS, “Saint of the Year!”
For you, the really troubled that we haven’t got to yet with GOSPEL—and might not have tried very hard to get to you—tremble if you must and worry if you can’t avoid it but know this: If you would have it so, Jesus is rejoicing on your behalf until the day when IN His company you’ll be able to do it for yourself! In Him your day is coming! Your triumph’s been secured! You and the Lord Jesus Christ will sit down together and laugh till your stomach hurts!
Don’t run from Him! He’s not your enemy and He’s no thief!