Thursday, February 16, 2006

Getting Started

This is the first edition of my musings which I’m calling “Kingdom Come.” I know that this might cause some confusion with the drama that we will be presenting in April, but that is not entirely a bad thing. The drama will be exploring some of the same things we need to address as a church.

When Jesus said, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15), he was not talking about getting people ready to die. He was talking about establishing the Kingdom of God right now. Of course, this also includes eternal destinations. But it is much more than that. (I am borrowing heavily from
N. T. Wright in the following observations.)

The crucified and risen Jesus of Nazareth is Lord. He is already reigning at God’s right hand. Yet his rule is still being opposed by various “powers.” Some of these powers are individual human beings; some of them are human organizations; and some are spiritual “powers.” There is coming a time when Jesus Christ will reappear to complete his rule by totally abolishing all enemies of the Kingdom. In the meantime, it is our responsibility to advance the cause of the Kingdom.

This has several implications for the Church. As subjects of the Kingdom we are called to relationship, stewardship and worship.

As a consequence of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, there is a different way of being human. As members of this Kingdom we are called to stand in opposition to all human oppression and declare that “the powers” have been defeated. There will be judgment for those who insist on dehumanizing themselves and others.

As stewards of God’s creation, we have a responsibility to care for it. We have tended to treat creation as a gold mine or as an ashtray. We do not worship creation as some people suggest. But we respect it as a good thing made by God. And we are responsible for how we take care of it.

Worship is more than what we do in the church building. But that’s not to say that it isn’t important. We cannot do authentic mission without shared worship. We are also to present our bodies as living sacrifices. Everything we do is to be an act of worship. The most important part of worship is to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord.

We are not called to withdraw from the world, to compromise with the world or to become militant with the world. Our job as Christians is to model genuine humanness as a sign and invitation to the world.

I will be expanding on these ideas in future postings.

If you have any questions or would like further clarification about something I write, login or send me an e-mail. I’ll try to respond to your question or concern here.

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

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