FAMOUS THEOLOGIAN GOES TO THE GOOGLE CAMPUS
One of my favorite morning routines is making my cup of coffee and then sitting down to check e-mail, the news, and Facebook. One particular morning, I had a pleasant surprise. My favorite theologian had posted a video.
Woo-hoo! Life is grand!
To date, I can confidently say I’ve read around 3,000 pages of N.T. Wright’s writings. (Does this mean it’s a love affair?)
So, imagine my delight when he posted a video of himself – at the Google campus, to boot! Apparently, Google decided to have a little Sunday School lesson!
This will be good!
CHRIST DOESN’T TAKE OUR PUNISHMENT
The first thing Wright did in the Google video was set the record straight. What you learned in Sunday School may not be right.
Most of us were taught – or what we heard in Sunday School – was that God created the world. But then, to our shock, he created a moral standard that was so high that none of us could possibly live up to it.
Thus we are guilty of breaking the law.
Christ comes. He dies on the cross. This satisfies (or atones) God’s wrath and we are OK.
Yay, it’s heaven time!
But STOP RIGHT THERE! Wright says that’s not the story of the Bible! That’s not the Good News!
CHRIST FIXES OUR BROKENNESS
The Good News is that God created the world, and then He declared it GOOD!
Then God created humankind IN HIS IMAGE, and then He BLESSES us and tells us to be FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY!
We reflect His goodness into the world. We also sum up creation’s praises and offer it back to God in worship – a big “Thank You card,” if you will.
But, we messed up, and tried to do things our way. We were a child who doesn’t want to listen to his or her mom or dad. This means that the creation project gets broken.
What does God do?
He sends Christ to fix it all!
Through Christ, God works to put the whole creation project back on track. He puts the world right.
It’s a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea. Christ doesn’t take our hit. He fixes creation and brings healing.
WHAT GOD DID FOR CHRIST, HE WILL DO FOR US
In Christ we see what the original plan for creation was. In the resurrection, Christ shows us healed humanity.
He shows us communion with God.
AND, according to N.T. Wright, the best part is that what God did for Christ – that whole raising him from the death thing – He will do for us!
So the cross and resurrection points to a future were the world is put right. Our brokenness is healed.
OUR TASK IS TO REFLECT GOD INTO THE WORLD
Christ was raised from the dead about 2,000 years ago. But we won’t be raised from the dead until Christ comes again – in the future.
So, we live in an in-between time, but we are called to live as if our resurrection has already happened!
How in the world do we do that?
Christ says it’s easy. First, love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
There’s many ways to do all this.
- We love God by praising him in Church!
- We love God when we participate in the Sacraments (communion, confession, anointing, etc.)
- We love God when we come to Him in prayer.
The second part is just as easy: love our neighbor as ourselves!
There’s also many ways to do this.
- We love our neighbor we visit them.
- We love our neighbor when we help them.
- We love them when we listen to them.
There are many ways to love God, and our neighbor. Our challenge is to be creative to find ways to do this.
When we have love, then we are reflecting God into the world, and we are reflecting the world’s praises back to God.
It’s that simple. And that’s what Wright calls, SIMPLY GOOD NEWS!
P. S. DON’T FORGET!
God created a good world, but we messed it up. However, through Christ, God puts things back in order. As a result, we are healed.
Why not learn more?
I’ll see you all at St. Elias this Sunday (10:30 @ 2001 Asbury Rd, Dubuque, IA).