paradoxes I am learning to accept as a parent. On Sunday Pastor Pat reminded us that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we live a paradox. Here are the examples he gave:
-We are earth-bound and all that means, yet we are seated with Christ in Heaven.
-We live in an old creation, yet we are previews of the new creation.
-We endure hardship, yet we experience God-filled moments.
-We are losing our lives, yet we are finding them in Christ.
The Apostle Peter said we are aliens and strangers in the world (1 Peter 2:11), and in John 17 Jesus says His followers are in the world but not of it. Pastor Pat says ours is the Geography of Grace, we're living in Christ...in the World. We are bound to experience great paradox as we live with these two fundamentally different ways of viewing life.
Here's what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7-11, from The Message:
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!
And one day we'll enter His presence, where glory -- not paradox -- awaits us!