In parts one and two, we explored something that is matter of factly a little crazy sounding in our world today. If the world grants us the existence of a God at all, there's almost no way that folks would believe this God would actually be in our corner, fighting on our behalf, trying as hard as he can to love us in spite of ourselves. The images of God that have been distributed around the world are of a vengeful, fire spiting, lightning striking punishing God. As I mentioned in posts 1 and 2, I simply don't believe in that God. The Scriptures don't point us in that direction. My experiences with the risen Christ stand outside of that narrative. That God doesn't exist. The God who loves us enough to reach into our dark world and shine love in our hearts, that's the God that I am all about.
What you see in the news and in the world around us is what happens when people get a different idea of God in their heads. If God is a rule-stickler infidel punishing madman, then of course it makes sense to engage in terrorism. If God is in the corner of one nation more than he is in the corner of another, then it's incredibly easy to say that everyone else should be kept out of our borders until we "figure it out." If God is upset with you, then why would you be anything less than upset with the world around you? If this life is all there is, then of course buy all the guns you can get your hands on to extend that life as long as you can.
But that simply isn't the God we serve, is it?
We serve a God who told us to love our enemies, and to even spend time each and every day praying for the people who want to kill us. We serve a God who told us that we ought to turn the other cheek when we're struck. We serve a God who told us that love is the ultimate reality in the universe, because God is love. I try to imagine what the world would be like if everyone saw God as God is. I try to imagine what the world would be like if everyone saw each other the way God sees us. What I see when I imagine this world is the world that is describe in the scriptures as the age to come. What I see is the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
You and I, we have a job to do. We have to proclaim this vision. We have to speak into dark places and dark times and offer the hope of Christ. We have to be the ones who look at a cycle of personal violence and say this stops with me. We have to recognize that redemptive violence, both physical and rhetorical, is a myth. We have to proclaim the good news. We have to proclaim the Gospel. We have to proclaim love.
So let's start shouting!