Horizons and Perspectives
Christianity does not start with Christ, at least not in the way we often think of him, that perfect Galilean, the human whose example of perfection was limited only by the fallen people and the cursed world around him.
Christianity starts before creation, with God’s decision to share existence with something outside himself. Completely satisfied and without any need God spoke and everything that is not God came into being. This is the beginning of the gospel. Creation comes from God. No accident of time and chance, no bump in the night, an unexpected accident, and no divinely inspired accident but God, knowing the beginning from the end desired the companionship of human beings and created a space for us to meet him.
Christianity is comprehensive it is as wide as God’s creation. God has a claim on all of life. He will not be confined to some religious compartment.
The followers of the saviour learn to live life on many horizons. Each of us has a natural horizon from which we see the future. For some it is the next meal, for others the weekend. Can I get through the month, to end of the year? For some the dominant line on the horizon is money, will I have enough to survive my old age, does the man who dies with the most toys win? For others it is accomplishment, measured academic degrees or accumulation of power, for some relationships, friends, children, grandchildren.
Some make the grave mistake of dismissing life on this planet as “worldly” mistaking what it means to be human for what it means to be sinful. Some hope in a heaven that relieve them of being physical as if being physical were the problem. But God made us human and Christ the perfect human came both to take our sin on himself and to show us how perfect humans will behave.
Some set their horizons on an illusion for we will always be created and the creation, in what ever form God has for it and with what ever restraints are taken from it, is the meeting place between the creator and his beloved creation. The creation declares the glory of God; it reflects the creators best ideas.
So the followers of Jesus must have no illusions. We live on the horizon of the here and now, amidst the struggles of today and the hope of goodness coming. We live on the horizon of the end of the week when on our Sabbath we rest and rejoice (not merely exchanging the politics of work for the politics of the church). We live on the horizon of the years to come while thinking carefully about this life knowing it is a preparation for things to come and the greater glory to be revealed.
We live in hope and that hope shapes our present. It is not an idle hope because it is built on the reality of the resurrection of Christ from the dead. It is a hope in future glory based on past glory. Our physical resurrection based on his. Delight in God who created you because he wanted you and do not exchange the creation for some religious illusion.