At this very moment, as you read these words, all things are being made new. How you choose to be a steward of this moment is up to you. Never take this precious gift of newness for granted. Choose to cherish the potential of ‘all things new’, through the power that His resurrection gives you. Relationships strained, mistakes made, sins you commit, bring them to the cross. Treasure the gift of newness he grants you every day.
Over 50 years ago, my dad, Chuck Colson, gave his life to Christ. There was no sense of what the future would bring. No clear path forward. Sound familiar? 50 years ago it was Watergate. Today the challenges are even greater. But I have something now – I can look back knowing God had a glorious plan in the midst of the mess of Watergate. And even when I can’t see it, I know He has a glorious plan in the midst of the mess today. God is at work. He is not asleep at the job. The only question is…what are we doing? What do we do when we are at the end, when we “despair even of life” as the apostle Paul said. Do we run from Him? Or do we run to Him? I’m not sure there is any other choice. This world is broken – the evidence is mounting. God had a rescue plan. He sent His son Jesus right into this mess. Right into hate and division and sickness and suffering. Right into scandals and politics and Watergate. To bring us hope. To bring us to Himself. To be the Way forward. I can run to someone who loves me that much.
Forgiveness doesn’t require reconciliation. Sometimes reconciliation isn’t possible or safe. Forgiveness is your decision that no one can take away from you. It’s you honoring God. It’s you honoring your healing process. It’s you deciding you’ve suffered enough because of what happened. It’s empowering and it is beautiful. Reconciliation requires that both people are willing to do the hard and humble work of coming back together. If they weren’t willing to honor the work necessary to come back together in a healthy way, that doesn’t make you a failure. Not even close. Your redemption by God is not held hostage by someone else’s choices. It’s between you and God.
The Cross is not the appeasement of an angry and retributive God. The cross is not where Jesus saves us from God, but where Jesus reveals God as Saviour. The cross is not what God inflicts upon Jesus, in order to forgive. But what God in Christ endures as he forgives. The cross is where the sin of the world coalesced into a hideous singularity, so that it might be forgiven, en masse across. The Cross is where the world violently sends its sins in the body of the Son of God, and where He absorbed it all saying, “Father forgive them.” The cross is both ugly and beautiful. It’s as ugly as human sin as beautiful as divine love, but in the end, love and beauty win.
God so loves the world. The prevalence of evil doesn’t throw him into a paroxysm of anger but into an act of love. The power of evil doesn’t send him reeling into a fearful retreat but into an aggressive encounter in which love wins. God loves the world. Our reactions to the world are no help in understanding God’s responses. His response, though, is the greatest help in changing ours.
No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, & the clean clothes are in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of His presence.
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