Paintball money and forms are due today
Dodgeball-fire and ice
5 minutes to write quietly
Cyndi’s Talk: Life isn’t about you
(and why that’s a good thing)
Okay, vulnerability time. I struggle a lot with guilt and anxiety. Now that has a lot of flavors so Let me explain what that means to me. I constantly feel like my failures and my moments where I chose the wrong words are hurting people and tearing them down. That people are thinking about my mess ups and insufficiencies.
There are a few truths that have helped me in this.
I am not so big of a deal that other people are thinking about my mess ups all day.
Romans 8:1-8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Now let me show you what most people believe that we believe.
The problem with this is that it’s a story about who? Me.
The second problem is that in the very beginning of your bible, It says God created the heavens and the earth and it was good. Hell isn’t mentioned in this initial setup, so whatever hell is, it enters the picture later.
So let me show you what is the good news of Jesus
Mark 1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
This statement says nothing about heaven or hell or when we die! (now rest assured, Jesus did talk about us being in paradise with him when we die, but that is not the main focus) But that the kingdom of heaven has arrived here on earth in the person of Jesus.It’s a reality now!
Now Hell is also a reality now. James says that the tongue has the power to gossip and insult and break others down and degrade other humans and James describes this as the tongue being set on fire by hell. The implication here is that at least in some sense, Hell/evil/sin whatever you want to call it is something here and now that humans unleash on each other in the present.
And Jesus hates it. He wants to take the evils and sin and, dare I say, Hell, out of his good world because it ravages humans and relationships. And he wants to get the evil out of you as well. We want Sex trafficking gone from our world, But Jesus is even more serious about it than we are. He wants to get rid of lust, the desire to use another human for my personal gratification. We want genocide and racism gone from our world, Jesus wants to get rid of hatred and pride and rage from the human heart.
Which is a double edged sword because I want God to get the evil out of this world without having to get rid of me. I have met the enemy and he is me. This is only good news depending on who tells it to you. If a soldier with an M16 thinks I’m the enemy, that’s bad. If a surgeon with a knife needs to cut me open to take something out of my body that’s killing me, that’s good news. Will it be painful? Yes, that’s the story of the bible.
So we in our own efforts are powerless to make this happen, Jesus, the great physician lived a hell and evil-less life that only gives and only loves and is only other’s centered. How he heals is that he loved the world so much that he allows the sin and evil and hell that humans unleash to overwhelm him and kill him. and through his death and then being raised from the dead he forgives us of the evil but doesn’t just forgive, he then if we let his spirit start healing us then he starts to remove the hell from my human heart.
Now where and what is hell when The kingdom of God and heaven are fully reunited?
The image we see in the bible is as the new heavens and new earth is depicted as a city where we are in the presence of God and Hell is outside the city. As CS Lewis said, hell is a monument to human dignity and choice. If anyone refuses to take part in the healing of the great physician and of his good world, God will not force them, but it’s also God’s mercy to not let hell and evil and sin continue to ravage God’s good world.
This is not a story about me or what I’m able to do, this is a story about Jesus and how he loves and is healing his good world. I am so glad that I’m invited to be part of the process and that Jesus cares about me so much that he wants to heal me. But I’m also so glad that life is about Jesus.
How do you feel in light of this information?
Do you agree? Disagree?
1. Ezra E
16. Ezra W