Hope

We all feel (at least in some part) that we can save the world.

If we just do all the right things, if politics would just go like we want them to go, if we could just eat right, exercise, recycle...then, everything would be okay.

Except that is a lie.

The world is broken. Some of it is our own brokenness.  Anger, lies, unforgiveness, greed...and some of it is simply broken.

I watched "Life" last night on the Discovery channel and all of the fighting, turf wars, fish killed simply through spawning...it isn't the world of a Disney fairy tale where the animals dance and sing nor is it the world of Avatar where everything is beautiful until the humans mess it up. It is a world where there is evidence of beautiful design, but the things in our heart we are most drawn to...love, joy, peace...aren't in abundance in the world we live in.

I think part of the challenge of my early religious training is that the emphasis was put on us to fix it.  It was our fault it was broken and it was our responsibility to clean it up.  The beauty of the Easter story--however--is that God saves the world. 

For thousands of years, the Jewish people gave sacrifices for sin.  Death paid the price for brokenness. (I don't know why life has to be given up to create life, but it always does.) Christians believe that all of those sacrifices were a picture of the great sacrifice that God was going to make on our behalf.  The one that would set in motion the restoration of the whole world. The one where Jesus would be the first to be resurrected of all of us.  You see it isn't enough that God came to live life among us for 33 years to show us His character--which turned out to be different than the social and religious models people lived with of persecution, arrogance, toil and striving. He came and showed healing, love, forgiveness and grace.

Then, when Passover came all of the events unfolded to fulfill the pictures that had been in place since the days of Moses. Jesus becomes the sacrifice for brokenness. Then God raises Him and begins the healing of the world. The law of love enters instead of the law of death.

When Jesus talks about the kingdom of heaven He uses metaphors like a mustard seed growing into a big tree or yeast working its way through bread.  It starts small, then spreads through the whole world...organically.  It isn't a "zap." And so we can become the people who bring God's character into the earth just like Jesus did.  And all we have to do is open ourselves and ask to be part of it. It isn't about embracing ideas or beliefs.  It isn't about affiliations or doctrine.  It isn't about how hard you work or how many boxes you can check off.  God can't be put on a worksheet. Embracing Him is the most amazing adventure-healing experience-life change-undoing of the broken stuff you could possibly imagine. It changes everything.

One of the truths of our world is that we are gifted with free will.  We are all free to choose our own paths. God is never so rude that He enters without an invitation. All we have to do is ask. It is as simple as breathing a prayer, and it doesn't have to be elegant.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall