God Calls.

Narrative

God has revealed himself to humankind and called us to believe what Christians have been believing for 2000 years now:  that there is one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and this one God created the world in which we live. The world that he created was good, very good, as were the people he made, people that could live in harmony with creation, with each other, and with God himself.  But then something catastrophic happened. The humans who were created to be in close relationship with God chose to separate themselves from God.  They chose to go their own way.  They chose to do their own thing.

When humans decided to go it alone without God and in opposition to God, evil was unleashed in the world, and evil affected everything.  It affected the way humans related to God, and the way they related to each other; it affected the way humans functioned, and the way the natural world functioned.  Suffering and death ensued.  Everything that had previously been good was now, in part, corrupted, marred, twisted.  The very good world that God had created maintained some of its original goodness, but nothing on earth was left untouched by evil. 

God, being God though, full of love for his world and keenly interested in the well-being of humans, couldn't leave his world in the state it was in, and he especially couldn’t leave humans in the state they were in, so he devised and carried out a plan to restore humans and the whole world to the state in which they were intended to live – in harmony with God, in harmony with those around them, and in harmony with the natural world, his creation.

God’s plan to restore the world was the sending of his son, Jesus Christ, into the world as God “in the flesh.”  In sending Jesus, God revealed himself to humankind.  In Jesus, we saw God "close-up."    Standing in the place of humankind, Jesus paid the price for our sin and re-opened the door to our relationship with God, the door that our sin had shut.  God’s justice demanded that someone die for the actions of humankind; his love for humans allowed him to offer his very own son for the task.  And so his son Jesus died by crucifixion just outside of Jerusalem about 2000 years ago, but that’s not the end of the story.

Three days after he was crucified, after lying in a tomb from a Friday to a Sunday, God made Jesus alive again.  Jesus was resurrected from the dead!  In that powerful act of God, the evil that had been unleashed through humankind’s choice to separate itself from God was dealt a fatal blow.  Things would never be the same after that.   To be sure, evil would still exist, and it would still be rampant in the world; however, the resurrection marked the beginning of the end for evil and it's power in the world – similar to the way D-Day marked the beginning of the end for the war in Europe in the Second World War.  The resurrection enabled a restored relationship between God and his people, a restored relationship between God and the world.

After being resurrected from the dead, Jesus spent a short time on earth to prepare his disciples to spread the good news of his sacrifice for humankind, then he ascended to heaven where he now lives.  He is not in retirement – far from it!  He watches over his people and intercedes on their behalf, and through his Holy Spirit he empowers them to do his work in the world.  That group of people is called his church, and his church exists throughout the world to be his presence until he comes again.  That’s when we believe the final and complete restoration of the relationship between God and his world will take place.  When Jesus Christ returns to this world, everything will be restored – humans, the natural world, and most importantly, our relationship with God.  We will then live as we were always intended to live, as we were created to live – as his people, totally and utterly in relationship with him.

God calls each of us to believe this story and to believe it in relation to our own lives.  We are called to believe that we have been affected by evil.  We are called to believe that we needed someone to die for us so that we might be restored into relationship with God.  We are called to believe that Jesus Christ was that someone, and that he died and was resurrected for us.  We are called to believe that it is only through faith in this Jesus Christ that we can enjoy life with God forever.