2018 - how to live into the New Year
(adapted from J.D. Walt – Seedbed Daily Text)
There’s a tension in the Christian calendar called the “already/not yet.” Jesus is on the scene to establish his Kingdom by his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. But it will not be fully realized until he returns. We call this the “already, not yet” because his Kingdom is already here, but it is not yet had final victory. We’re waiting for Jesus to return, and waiting is active – that defines our mission.
To illustrate what this looks like, consider the story of the Underground Railroad… the secret network of individuals, groups, churches, and others who helped slaves escape from the South to the North and Canada.
Howard Snyder points out that, though Abraham Lincoln had not yet delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, the people of the Underground Railroad lived as though it had already happened, and so worked to free as many slaves as they could, usually by subversive means. Subversion is “the undermining of the power and authority of an established system or institution.”
This is how we get ready for his return in 2018, to go subversively among the plantations of sin and take the time to walk with that one person to freedom. To live our lives in the upside down of the already/not yet – helping the blind see, the deaf hear and the lame walk – as we wait in hope for Christ our Judge to return and proclaim a final emancipation from the world’s slavery to sin and death. HAPPY NEW YEAR!