In Sunday’s message, Pastor Rich made this statement on the bookends of the creed. “New bodies and eternal life. And in that, we come to the end of the creed. It starts with a loving Father who welcomes us home, and ends with us home, with that loving Father for all eternity.”
In the movie “The Truman Show”, Truman appears to be living a typical life of happiness and success. Good job, happy marriage, friends, everything seems to always fall into place. The dark reality that that soon unravels throughout the movie is that what Truman thought was an autonomous life that he had created for himself was really a twisted “zoo-like” experiment where millions of eyes watched, and millions of dollars were made as Truman’s entire life was scripted for other’s entertainment and profit. At the end, Truman had to make a choice. Choose the “happily ever-after” of being a slave to the script he was given or choose the true freedom that comes from coming out from under the control of the powers of this world that was created “for” him.
Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He proclaims a truth that Christians far too often neglect to acknowledge. This truth is that through Jesus the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Kingdom of God is in our midst. What does this mean? It means our “happily ever-after” is not just a fairytale ending that we just click our heels the right number of times and just the right way to finally see. The Kingdom of God, our life everlasting, is right here in our midst.
The problem is that there are still powers that are struggling for our allegiance. There are still powers that are trying to convince us to stick to the world’s script. The sinful structures of the world, our sin nature, always working to convince us that power is more valuable than love. From the very first sin in scripture, we see our downfall is when we trade the care of a loving Father for our desire for power. That is why we need Jesus.
God came and lived in our midst to prove that the world that has been built by sin is not the everlasting that He had designed. With ever miracle, every parable, and every revelation, Jesus poked holes in the narratives that were corrupted by sin. In the scene of the cross (and the resurrection that followed) the new reality was finally made known. The veil was torn. The man behind the curtain was revealed as powerless. The stage wall was kicked in.
The tension we live in now is the reality that the Kingdom of God is now fully revealed, but not yet fully established. SO, our new “role” is now to continually seek and reveal the Kingdom of God. Continue to exercise our free will, but with a cruciform posture. All the moments of Jesus when He laid down and rejected power to expose the love of God mirror our own experience in our everyday lives. If we are focused on the world’s “happily ever after” powers, we lose sight of our access to everlasting love that grants us peace.
The very first statement of the creed truly does connect with the last. Do we live as a child of the Father Almighty? Do we let ourselves live in the freedom of having a Good Father? Will we continue to trade the false, “happily ever-after” pursuits and seek the Kingdom love of God?
What narratives still influence us that are more built on the powers of the world than the love of God?
What fears do we have about tearing down the set to reveal the reality of God’s Kingdom?
What do we want God to show us to help us forget the world’s script?