Who Rules the Universe?

I had such a great time leading this discussion on Revelation Chapter 5 last Thursday! It’s all about the meekness and trustworthiness of the God who rules and judges the world. I think it can really give some perspective on the disruptive crises that face our nation and the globe… Take a listen!

“Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals…

And… I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain…”

 

A Christmas Rant

I’m going to go on a long, wordy, run-on-sentence kind of rant, because I can’t not… I just think we don’t consider the endless implications of the Christmas event nearly enough.

Most people of all faiths have a fondness for Jesus of Nazareth, born 2000ish years ago. I’m not sure we really get all that he represents though… Jesus is a legit gift to ALL of humanity (“peace on earth,” as the angel is said to have proclaimed), but he is a universal blessing precisely because he is also an equal opportunity offender.

Jesus came in confrontation to everything we had backwards, and he continues to come with the same modus operandi. Wherever there is self-righteous religiosity, wherever there are systems of shame and control, wherever performance-orientation and an imposter syndrome is encouraged, wherever formulaic legalism and moralism reign, wherever egotism and unhealthy competition abounds, wherever retributive justice is “just the way things are” — he comes to graciously and persistently subvert the established order. Time and time again, he moves in perpetual defiance and brings holy disruption any and everywhere it’s needed.

As Isaiah prophesied, “Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.” All on the playing field are left equally humbled and dignified as Jesus insists on making the counter-intuitive will of God enfleshed in our midst.

There is no holy book, no message, no prophet, no philosophy, no code of ethics, no dogma, no avatar, no system of government, no personal idol in the human heart that carries or manifests perfected Love quite like this incarnation of the Divine. No one who literally and metaphorically overcame the systems, ideologies, patterns, social structures, spirits and sin of our collective community quite like he did (and like he continually does). The more we search out his story, his accomplishment and his ongoing active Presence in our lives — the more we discover new layers and depths of moving beauty and redemption at every turn.

God’s most profound logic is revealed in this one mythic but historical Man. As John the Beloved wrote, “The Word became human flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory — glory as of the only begotten from the Father, FULLY embodying grace-truth….”

Christ’s light shines into darkness wherever it is found, and darkness can only retreat before him. If we have eyes to see it and the wisdom to participate in his plans, we’ll recognize there is literally no one his coming is not good news for. He is the hope of the nations.

Follow me at @destintweets.

?@davidkpughphoto

Quick Book Review: “Unpunishable”

 

Yo . . .

Buy this book.
Read this book.
Underline the heck out of this book.

• Really great, counter-cultural relationship advice (applicable for all settings) from a professional counselor with high-level expertise.

• Really great perspective for how to deal with the failure of leaders in a way that’s deeply restorative and Gospel-informed.

• Really excellent, thorough theological work on how punishment/retribution/manipulation/insecurity deserves no place in our lives in how we treat one another or how we seek to respect God properly under the New Covenant.

Every disciple 100% needs this kind of perspective-shift.

> See on Amazon.com!

(No I am not getting paid to advertise…haha.)

R E A L

Not everything happens for a reason.

Messes are real.
Chaos is real.
Injustice is real.
Lots of sh** is real,
and it doesn’t all need a meaning ascribed to it.

In that though, substantial hope is still available.

Instead of offering trite answers to broken situations, can we just acknowledge plainly when things go wrong? Can we stand in solidarity with each other and help those around us legitimize some of their pain? Then, together, we can also look to the Redeemer who’s there with us, fighting for us.

He’s more real than anything else.

? = @jaredgravatt