This Time Is Different
Abraham. Moses. Jacob. David. Jonah. Paul. Heroes of the faith. The ones we aspire to be like. Lift up. People who walked with God.
And digging into their stories this fall as a community, we were presented with a common theme that was glaring. Each had a fatal flaw. A call from God that they tried to live out themselves, to push their own agenda, to get it done their own way with their own power, apart from what God had planned. As we spent the fall living in these stories and asking ourselves- where do we do the same corporately and individually... We found ourselves rooted in the paradox of the cross and empty tomb.
Beauty from the ashes. God’s power perfected in our weakness. The good news that even in spite of it all, God chooses to use us to bring about the kingdom, to proclaim the Gospel. That he has called and anointed us to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom to the captive, and release from darkness the prisoners.
But there is a question that lingers. As we go on our way rejoicing that our sin is forgiven. That our debt has been paid. Our sin stoned for. What about the people who are left in our wake? Those hurt while we tried to force God's plan into existence by our own means? The consequence to our sin that has ruined lives and broken people. What happens to them in the aftermath as we move forward? Where is their healing? Their hope? Their joy?
To the unseen.
To the invisible.
To those who are the “consequence."
For those who live a life where it’s safer in the shadows... In God there is no darkness. It is safe to come out of hiding. But if you are like me, you have heard that before. How do you know this time is different?
Because it’s not just Abraham’s story that is written in God's Word but also Hagar’s.
God is El Roi who sees.
Not the fairy tale ending.
But he Saves.
God does not deny the sin that has been laid upon you. It matters too much to him. The hurt. The pain. The things that have been done to you. Those deep wounds are not just felt by you.
So how is this time different? How do you know God will keep his promise?
Because on the cross Jesus was unseen. He became invisible. He was the consequence. God turned his face away from Jesus so that his face could shine upon you. So that he might be gracious to you. So the Lord would lift his countenance upon you and give you peace.
This time is different. Because the tomb is empty.