Yesterday at Eastridge we completed a two month Sunday morning series that we called: He is Greater Than.
Basing the series off of the victory of David over Goliath, each week we sought to address real world Goliaths.
Issues our God equips us to overcome.
Over the course of nine weeks we affirmed that our God, He is greater than our fears, our inadequacies, our failures, our control, divorce, addiction, our sin. And then the final message yesterday: He is > our shame.
In each message, our hope was to established the truths that:
1) our God is sovereign,
2) He can be trusted,
and 3) His strength is made complete in our weakness.
In wrestling with these difficult, emotional topics over the last nine weeks as a church family; and in light of the recent reminders within the world in which we live of how broken we truly are, I have been (perhaps more-so than usual) acutely aware of how very fragmented and marred humanity is because of the Fall.
How very fragile and how very vulnerable we truly are.
And our innate, insatiable need for God.
Our view of God, our view of ourselves, our view of the world in which we live is crucial.
Perspective is imperative.
A God-given, Christ-centered, Spirit-fueled, Kingdom-ordained, Cross-shaped, Resurrection-powered lens with which we view everything is central.
I’ve actually had folks say to me, “Jason the world is more messed up today than it has ever been.”
And I want to scream back, “Are you kidding me?!
More messed up today? Than ever?!
Do you remember Apartheid in South Africa? The Killing Fields of Cambodia? Have you read about the American Civil Rights movement? Have you ever heard of Auschwitz? The Civil War? Slavery in the US? And that’s only in recent history. Do the cities of Sodom and Gomorra ring a bell?!”
More messed up today? Than ever? Hardly.
The world has been equally messed up since Genesis 3.
And we have all needed God equally since Genesis 3.
And if we have come to understand much at all from our God, it is within the most difficult, darkest moments, when all seems most oppressive and least hopeful, that He does His best work.
Isn’t that what we learn from the cross and resurrection of Jesus?
Somehow only through the cross and resurrection, only through the Gospel of Christ, does all of this brokenness, all of the effects of the Fall, begin to be healed.
My friend Jack Reese helps us to understand not only this broken state, but the God designed healing of this brokenness.
In his book, The Body Broken, Reese offers affirmation of peace, even amidst our brokenness:
“The body of Christ indeed is broken. We live in narrow worlds surrounded by people mostly like ourselves. We talk too little to anyone whose opinions differ from our own. We seldom see beyond ethnic and social boundaries. We engage too often in accusation and blame. Each of us bears responsibility. No one is innocent. We build walls of self-protection. We seek our own interests. We do not love as we ought. We are silent when words must be spoken. We shout when everything in the universe calls for silence. Christ’s body is broken because we, in our sins, are broken….
In this brokenness, however, lies our hope. Christ’s body was broken so that the body of Christ might be healed. He was wounded for our transgressions, as the prophet says. Here is the good news. Our brokenness is met in Christ’s. In this brokenness we become one with Him and, if we have the courage, with one another. We share in His suffering and therefore in each other’s pain. By this means, Christ’s peace heals us. It is healing us even now” (p170).
Glory to God!