Good Old Days


I often overhear folks wondering why there seem to be so many “new issues” in our world.
Or, they muse and miss the old days when things seemed more simple, and people seemed to be offended less. I can understand this feeling. Our world is rapidly changing, with advances in technology and information propelling us forward at breakneck speeds. Even as a technical millennial, I have a difficulty keeping up sometimes.

But there is something about this nostalgic thought process that I can’t shake. It brings many questions to mind for me. The first and most pressing being this:

Why do we immediately assume that things are getting worse? As if the world is going from Gods preferred state or desired order and spinning out of His control towards depravity. Is He becoming less powerful? Less loving?

What if there is a different narrative at work? What if God is drawing everything back to Himself? As He has throughout all of creation, as our scriptures point to over,

and over,

and over again.

 

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

Colossians 1:19-20

 

The cross kicked off the redeeming of all things. If there are “new” issues arising, I believe that it is because God wants to bring them out into the light.

Finally.

Even if it takes decades.

Centuries.

Because nothing can stay in darkness with Him.

“For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.”

Luke 8:17

 

This is why we must continue on against racism, slavery, colonialism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, all forms of abuse, disdain for the poor and needy, the love of violence and money and power…Sadly, many things our country was founded on. And even more heartbreaking, many of these evils have been purveyed or excused by the Church. We must refuse to “grow weary of doing good” (Galatians 6:9). We have work to do.

Let us not live in denial and a whitewashed version of history, wishing for the old days when “things were better”.

I’m telling you, if you feel this way, they were only better for you.

And now those whose days were lived in injustice are speaking up. We suddenly find ourselves living in an age of infinite access to information, and are able to learn and hear stories of other cultures and subcultures across the world.

I believe that God is allowing their voices to finally be heard, and for others to be so unsettled by it that those who hear Him are moved to action.

I do not think that all this current tumultuousness is an accident.

We can’t wish away the feeling in our spirits right now (I know I’m not the only one who feels it). It is like hoping not to feel pain when you hold your hand over a flame.

Sometimes discomfort will save a life.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

 

Ephesians 5:8-16

 

God has always worked His plan out in ways humans (specifically us religious humans) don’t understand. Israel expected a military leader that would lead them into prosperity. Instead they got a baby born in obscurity, who would lead them down the narrow path to the saving of their souls, the healing of all things broken.

Let us then abide only in Jesus, not a flag, a nation, a leader. Let us have ears that hear, eyes that see. Let us drop our preconceived notions. Let us be humble, willing to be wrong. Let us be learners. Let us be willing to see the grander plan of redemption at work. Let us walk “not as fools but as wise”. Let us work alongside the Spirit to fix broken things. Let us try not to break things further.

The days may be evil, but that does not mean we quit with redemption now.

 

 

 

 

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