I’ve been doing a lot of reading this Fall – reading about who our God is and about the unassuming people he uses in ministry. Reading about how to help people move towards God and not away from him. Reading about the promises Jesus made to people who follow him.
I’ve been doing a lot of talking, too. Talking with friends who I respect about what it means to follow Christ, about what avenues we can use to show Christ in 2012. I love those people more than I can express.
Our world has been dealt incomprehensible sorrow. Every era, country, village, household, and soul faces tragedy. Terrible things happen – and not just in the abstract. Sometimes tragedy is in our back yard, our own body, our own people.
If death were the end, it would be a bleak reality, indeed. But praise God it is not the end. We live for more than this life. There is joy in that message that is in no other!
Hope and joy are at the essence of who we are and who Jesus is. There is a reason Paul was able to praise God in the face of death because of Him. There is a reason the Rogers family say cancer did not defeat their son. There is a reason my friends in Africa smile without knowing where the next meal will come from.
Because people who have died with Christ don’t have to fear another death. The weight and joy and hope in that message resonate with me now more than ever before.
At the end of the day, it is not enough to just read and discuss. It’s not enough to write off the pain and distress people experience only because that pain seems to be everywhere.
We are the hands and feet. I am the hands and feet.
If not us, who will be Jesus to the least of these? To the hurting?
We have a responsible, a privilege to rip open the healing and joy in our message and pour it out like water rushing over the falls. Our world needs it – and Jesus promised.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –Jesus, John 16:33