Hope for the World in the Present

Occasionally when heading off to camp a parent will come and note their student "sleep walks." The intent is not to embarrass. Safety is the real goal.

The Apostle Paul notes since love is the fulfilling of the law we should wake from our sleep walking. Rather than draw the illustration between being awake and being asleep, it seems to fit not only the context of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome but ours as well.

Today the Church faces a bit of justified criticism. Many want to stake the blame at an "institutionalization" that seems to rob the Church of its vitality. Certainly systems break, abuse occurs and these systems misrepresent the very things intended to benefit people. However, the breakdown occurs not without complicity. People create the ethos of an institution – for the good or bad.

The choice to sleep walk through the process of new creation really means continuing to live in a manner that seems to ignore what it means to follow Jesus for the benefit of the world. Many seem content to live on the merits of a past decision hopeful of its future implications while sleep walking through the present.

We may push the imagery a bit and suggest it time to "put on Christ" and jettison the pajamas. Sleep walking leaves us unprepared as we encounter others who need to hear of the hope we have in Jesus.

Jesus comes in the present as those who wear his clothes carry out His life in ways that bring the Kingdom to bear in the world. And yes, this may happen through the Church.

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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