WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE?

Forget the tweets and twitters. Never mind the election scandals. And fear not the terror that stalks by day or night. There is only one power and authority that is holding this earth and we its inhabitants together. That power is love. And love has a name. Jesus.

In Colossians 2:10 we read that Christ is the head over every power and authority and holds everything together. (Colossians 1:17)

No matter how it appears the Kingdom of God has arrived in fullness in Christ at his death and resurrection. It’s for all of us. It’s for you folks who even do not believe this. It’s not fake news. It has the highest reliability. It’s news that can be trusted. Listen we’ve had it, most of us, with the current news real or not. We need some good news and here it is. No matter who you are or what you have been or the doubts you have about the world or yourself you can know for certain that you are part of this Kingdom family that God has set up on this earth. God’s grace makes that possible and each step of faith brings us into his realm, where he and no other authority rule.

It’s not escapism. In fact living with Christ will place us solidly in the realm of love in this world. Heaven begins here. God’s influence is here.

Christ’s reign is not a dictatorial power but rather a strong disarming influence over the whole creation. It was love that held Jesus to the cross to remove the blindness of sin from the world so that more and more people would come under the sway of his heart changing love.

Even at this moment, in ways I don’t fully understand Christ is in the process of reconciling this world, this creation back to God. The towers of Babel are falling. Empires are tumbling. The stranded arks are finding dry land. The covenant that was made with Abraham is being fulfilled. Those who have sat in darkness are finally having light shine on them.

Death, terror and heartache abound but these are not the final words for this world. God won’t allow that for his beloved creation. Yes, suffering must be addressed but in the light of Christ not in a faithless void. No earthly power has the final say. No, the final words are from Jesus who tells us to fear not because the Father has given us the Kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

Five hundred years ago Martin Luther by the grace of God stood against the earthly powers to proclaim the realm and reality of Christ. He lived amidst danger, emperors, threats and plagues. But give a look to some of the words he wrote from his famous hymn, ‘A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD’.

‘And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.’

DIVINE MAESTRO

 

Check out this quote by Dallas Willard. Confidence in Jesus as absolute Maestro of the universe is the first indication of regeneration. Is that great or what? And a divine maestro who is a master musician has one goal. He wants to bring about the most wonderful piece of music imaginable. He wants every instrument or voice in tune; every musician performing his or her best. That is the joy of the Master.

In this world Jesus is the Divine Maestro working with his Father to bring about the greatest good, the greatest artwork of creation imaginable. ‘God is good’ declares the Scripture. But, we often look at the world as a jumbled up batch of amateurish performers at their worst and the background of creation is a wreck in the eyes of many. How did the maestro even let some of the players into his orchestra? They seem downright evil.

Thomas Oden, a Methodist theologian, has written of this topic in his book called CLASSIC CHRISTIANITY. He says that we look at the fallen world, this messed up world, with cloudy eyesight at best. This world of all the worlds that might have been created is the best one.

Many of us who take a good look at the entire world throughout history will observe the goodness in this creation, and thus the goodness of God. God does not make anything badly insists the classic Christian writers. The creation has been skewed by our disobedience and still the creator, the Divine Maestro, is at work to take his creation and bring it back to harmony and perfection through his love for this world.

At the beginning everyone knew their notes, their parts and chose, from their own God given freedom, to distort the work, rebel against the maestro and this unfinished world is the result. And so are our unfinished lives.

But to have an accurate assessment of the whole situation you and I must read the score, the whole score. People who bash God and Christian faith have rarely done so.

Just read this account of the Maestro’s character and work from Colossians 1:

15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. (MSG)

Let’s go back to Willard’s quote and see that indeed it is the beginning of faith to realize the goodness of our creator and our savior.

Now there are people like Bill Maher of T.V. fame who make their living denigrating God and Jesus and thus have no clue as to what is going on in this universe. To people like that religion is nonsense and even evil. But I suggest that they get to know the Maestro to understand God and his love for his creation and his desire both for our freedom and hopefully a redeemed responsibility to care as deeply as he does.

According to one of the smartest men who ever lived, St. Paul, this creation does indeed groan but God is working all things towards a good purpose, a good end that some of us see even now amidst the groans. (Romans 8)

The great Maestro of the Universe spent time with his creation, going to each student, one by one, to help him or her learn his or her parts to be able to perform the greatest masterpiece possible. And each student, apprentice will add his or her skill, talent, or new learning to the great work that was designed by the Maestro. Those who don’t want to be in the orchestra will have the choice to walk away. But in this masterpiece even the birds will want to sing, the flowers will bloom, and the trees will shout for joy to their Master.

I detest much that is happening on this earth, and make no mistake, evil abounds. It seems as though the devil secretly steals into the orchestra to create disharmony. But I don’t have the big picture. I see only a few pages at a time and trust that when it all comes together there will be a new heaven and a new earth whose brilliance will be unsurpassed by anything we can imagine. The final score is already written and we are invited to sit under the Maestro and learn the parts that have been assigned to us trusting that the music can be heard even now by those who have ears to hear.