...[O]ur great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. -- Titus 2:13-14
I will be out today and tomorrow, and Wednesday will be a catch-up, set-up day at work, so I am stacking up some short posts. My wife is having surgery about the time this post will come up. It should be nothing, but they plan to keep her overnight this time. She has told our daughter who is supposed to keep it quiet. Fewer people will see an ad in the newspaper. Christmas is pretty well sunk as far as going anywhere. She should be better able to travel by next weekend, and we'll play late Santa for the grandkids. It's all clothes anyway.
I know you all will be praying as soon as you read this, so thank you. Merry Christmas.
Redemption is not just about us. God loves us and wants to bring us out of darkness and self-destruction for our sakes. That's true. But it is also true that our redemption, reconciliation, and restoration is part of something greater. Some verses we often quote, Romans 8:19-21, apply: For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Christ is our King, and He will have a kingdom. It is a kingdom of light and of love, of grace and goodness, of peace and joy. In evangelical ranks, we often talk about "building the kingdom", and, too often, what we mean by that is bringing more people into our local church building and fellowship. We focus on saving the lost. Those are good things. Among the proofs that Jesus listed to John's disciples to assure the imprisoned forerunner that he had been on the right track was "the poor have the good news preached to them". Life from the dead, deliverance from bondage, healing, and wholeness are all part of the kingdom of heaven.
Nevertheless, the kingdom also includes healthy families, genuine education, satisfying, productive work, art, exploration, adventure, and discovery. We have let the worldly-minded and the unbelieving convince us that "religion" is a compartment when it is really the whole.