A Few Days Now

It's been a few days now.

Have we gone back to our same routine?

It's so easy to go back to our same routine. Some go to church on Christmas and Easter, think they are going to take their journey together with other Christians seriously, but the fact that everyone else is imperfect gets in the way. Some make New Years' Resolutions only to lack the discipline to keep it going more than a few weeks. We get baptized only to continue wallowing in the mud of our sin. We take the Lord's supper only to turn around and starve for holiness.

How can we live with the love we are intended to have, the discipline that is needed, in the freedom we are called to, and on the right path?

It seems hopeless.

And it is.

At least in our strength. God knew that it was hopeless, and that is why He gave us hope. He came in the form of a little baby boy. Vulnerable and relying on others. He grew up in the love of God, His mother, family, and faith community. Nourished and strong. He traveled and taught. Wise and ridiculed. He then hung, bled, and died for all of us. Loving and disgraced. He rose again and continued to teach His followers. Inspiring and challenging. And then He gave His Spirit and established His Church. You and me.

It culminates in the two things that we still have today: His Spirit and His Church. And it breaks through into our world, not through the waving of a magic wand, but through you and me being His followers, together, day after day, moment after moment, in tragedy, in joyous celebrations, and in every moment between.

Paul wrote to Timothy, "Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV).

Power, love, and self-control. Those are the attributes needed to respond to our challenges. Not fear. Never fear. His Spirit gives us the power to accomplish what we are called to, the guidance to love in relevant ways, and the self-control to be free from distractions.

Tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary remind us that things are still not right. God needs a generation of people who will step up, live for others, and build a better world than the one they were born in. And He did not send us on this mission without the tools to make it happen. 

Are we ready to heed the call? If there is anything that the last week has shown me, it's that this world needs more and more people to truly follow Jesus and strive to bring His kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. Our goal is not just some far off heavenly place; it's heaven here on earth, among us. And it can be realized through His Spirit and His Church.

I can't help but imagine Martin Luther King, Jr. staying awake on one of his many frustrating nights. He had a dream. And many nights that dream looked like it wasn't going to come about. I'm sure that he laid there and wondered whether the dream was just a fairytale that would never cross over into reality. But in his faithfulness to God, the dream laid on His heart by God became a reality. Not because of his perfection, for he was far from perfect. But because of His perfection working through him.

It's been a few days now. Have we given up?

Or have our eyes been open to a better reality? One that appears to be a dream covered over by the fog in the cold, damp morning. Remember that the Son removes the fog. The day will come. A new and better reality that can be lived among us through the strength, love, and self-control that His Spirit provides.

Let us work together for a better today.