the context in which we live

21 02 2010

Consider this quote from “The Recovery of Mission” by Vinoth Ramachandra, page 143:

Modernity is the first truly global civilization to emerge in human history.  It traces its historical and geographical roots to modes of social life and organization which developed in the countries of northern Europe from about the seventeenth century onwards and which have subsequently extended their reach worldwide.  Its impact is felt even in the more remote villages of the world as much as in the universities, commercial centres, and government offices of major cities.  It is full of paradoxes and ambiguities, bringing in its wake both enormous blessings and terrible sufferings.  It unites the world while fragmenting it; dispels ancient, local fears only to replace them with fears on an unimaginable scale; reduces ignorance while destroying meanings; advocates rationality while subverting reason; creates wealth while impoverishing the earth…

That is the context in which I live, and I suspect most of you also deal with the results of modernity in your daily lives.  This is the culture in which we are called to follow Jesus.  Right now I’m seeking to live more faithfully as I balance three important callings: (1.) working my full-time engineering job, (2.) raising support for moving to and ministering in Kiev, and (3.) living life as a friend, a neighbor, a church member, a person, a follower of Jesus.

I’m thankful for the conference in Minnesota last weekend; for the joy of celebrating the Lord’s Supper with my brothers and sisters at Trinity PCA in Rochester last Sunday and the anticipation of gathering with my local church tomorrow; for a full week of work (exhausting, yet God-given); and for the encouragement, accountability, and support that we have access to within our local churches and the broader body of Christ.

Most of all, I’m thankful for Jesus.  His coming down for us, dying on the cross, and defeating death by rising from the grave is the proof that God loves his children.  He is also the one in whom meaning finds its center, because he is faithful and true.  The “Jesus Storybook Bible” puts it well:

You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children–with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.


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