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It's 2019, and We Are Here For It

This week we asked the question: What about the Bible? 
If you missed the sermon, you can watch it back here.

I hear too often, "I wouldn't want to be raising kids in this world." Or, "I fear for your children and the trouble they'll have to face in this world." Some people just paint the world (or the rest of humanity therein) so dark and bleak. Is there darkness? There has aways been. Is there light? Much more than there is darkness for sure. In church circles, you'll hear my colleagues say things like, "We need to get back to the way it was." Or, "The world is out to get you." No, no it's not. The world is full of humans who are just that: human. They have names; they have emotions; they have painful experiences and real thoughts. They have eternal souls and beating hearts. They might be out to selfishly help themselves (aren't we all in some way?), but they are not out to get you. I don't know about you, but God didn't create me to live in the early 20th century, when all was apparently right in the world and the church, or so some would have us to believe. He didn't create me to live in the first century, carrying forward the message of Jesus with the other apostles to the Roman Empire. He created me to live in 2019, with all of the busyness and chaos in the world, with all of the distracting technology, with all of the troubling global issues, etc., in order to love people relentlessly like Jesus did, especially with all of the present and future implications. Isn't that how it works? Doesn't light shine best in darkness? (And I'm not even convinced it's as dark as some would have us think; they just choose to close their eyes to see darkness.) The world we live in right now is a beautiful mosaic, full of diversity and color, imagination and creativity, flavor and life. Isn't that the reflection of God in it all? It surely is if we're looking for him in it. Here's the reality check. It's 2019. Hope is still present and available to all who want it. Peace is still existent and within all who surrender to it. Love is still the most powerful force on earth. Grace is still exchanged in the midst of difference to those who embrace it. Joy is still possible and yours if you'll have it. And Hope, and Peace, and Love, and Grace, and Joy, they all have a name: Jesus. And Jesus is still alive, because he's living through my life: I'm his apprentice. Jesus is still giving himself for people; because I choose people over my preferences: I'm his apprentice. Jesus is still bringing light and freedom to life; because I share the grace and love I've received from Him with every person around me: I'm his apprentice. How about you? Who are you becoming? Does hope, peace, love, grace, and joy exist in your world, because you're being those things to humanity around you? Maybe if the world is so bad, it's because we aren't being who we were created to be. Maybe it's because the people who (mis)represent God like to choose who we're against rather than who we're for. Maybe it's because we aren't really apprentices of Jesus at all, and we've become apprentices of ourselves. It's time to turn the train around. We are following Jesus. We will love who he loves. We will give grace to whom he gives grace. We will lay down our preferences for those whom He laid down his life. This is 2019, and we are here for it.

Give me the courage to be a faithful apprentice of Jesus, giving grace, hope, and love to humanity around me.

I recommended two resources this weekend to help you in learning more about the topic of the Bible. Here they are for your convenience.

How the Bible Actually Works* by Pete Enns
View the Book

Making Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton
View the Book