On the one hand, there is so much that points us to the potential of a better tomorrow, given artificial intelligence, robotics, space exploration, medical breakthroughs, and so much more. At the same time the daily news so focused on the almost nightmarish political chaos in which we find ourselves, and which dominates the news, raises intimidating questions about a hopeful future. Add to that, the reality that ‘future thinkers’ are a distinct minority of the population. The large majority choose to think in past terms, to the “good old days” (that probably never were that good!).

That reality challenges me, being both a life-long teacher of the scriptures contained in the Bible, as well as an advocate in my writings of the mission given to his church by Jesus Christ, that is both global and which looks to the continued invasion of God’s new creation into the rebellion and brokenness of this present scene—until that day when the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our God and of his Christ. Meanwhile? Meanwhile we live with the reality of the encounter that is very real between darkness and Light.

We are taught in scriptures that the kingdom of God comes not with dramatic observation, but quietly and irresistibly like leaven quietly permeating a lump of dough. We pray to our Father in heaven: “Cause your kingdom to becoming and your will to being done on earth as it is in heaven.”  We are stewards of his in-breaking new creation We, area global community that is a servant culture, instruments of is peace, of his justice and righteousness, of his heart of love. But, … we live in that calling in conflict with all the negative forces of the darkness, in our localities, in our national scene, and globally. (Fasten your seat-belts) We are taught that unto us as stewards of his in-breaking new creation “it is given not only to believe in his name but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29). As Christ’s servant people, we are in continual engagement with the darkness in all its subtle forms.

We can give our support to those agencies which seek righteousness, who seek justice for those held in human slavery, or held unjustly in prisons without hope—and we should. We should support candidates who most reflect the ethics of God’s new creation, while realizing that neither Republicans or Democrats will rescind the subtle and pervasive darkness.

The followers of Christ, his church, need to wake up to this reality and this cosmic conflict between the culture of darkness, and the Light of God’s new creation—this global conflict in which we are engaged until the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our God and of his Christ. It begins with you and me and our local Christian community having integrity as transformational agents here and now. We are to be the radiant display of God’s glory 24/7.

Run with that. And may the Lord be with you.

About rthenderson

Sixty years a pastor-teacher within the Presbyterian Church. Author of several books, the latest of which are a trilogy on missional ecclesiology: ENCHANTED COMMUNITY: JOURNEY INTO THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH, then, REFOUNDING THE CHURCH FROM THE UNDERSIDE, then THE CHURCH AND THE RELENTLESS DARKNESS. Previous to this trilogy was A DOOR OF HOPE: SPIRITUAL CONFLICT IN PASTORAL MINISTRY, and SUBVERSIVE JESUS, RADICAL FAITH. I am a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, a graduate of Davidson College, then of Columbia and Westminster Theological Seminaries.
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