Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thinking Differently

So as you may have seen from previous posts, the resurrection has been on my mind quite a bit because I'm reading "Surprised by Hope" by N.T. Wright. I find that I can only read a chapter or two at a time because he challenges me to think about life and the purpose of Jesus/his ministry in a new light. I liken this challenge of changing the way I view life and live in this world to what is was like when I first got married, and even now to the very beginning of my relationship with my husband. When I got married it was a rude awakening to have to think about another person other than myself all of the time. When we would travel to see friends and family we couldn't just spend all of our time with my friends and my family, although I would have LOVED that, we had to split the time. Also, I had to change the way I spent my time in ministry. Before marriage I did what I wanted, (worship ministry, youth group, small group, other random church activities) when I wanted to. Being married, so much of our time goes into spending time together and cultivating the foundations to our relationship., and trying to balance ministry with together time. Don't get me wrong, one is not better than the other. Its just different now. I feel like a similar shift is happening when I start to think about the hope of the gospel/resurrection. My whole world was wrapped up in a different way of thinking (in this case a wrong way of thinking) and now I'm having to reshape the way I's SO hard! Before I thought about salvation merely as my relationship with God in the present and going home to God and finding peace/joy/fulfillment in the future(heaven). Now, trying to process my thoughts about salvation in the New Testament view that salvation is about 1-whole human beings, not just souls 2-the present, not simply the future, and 3- what God does THOUGH us, not merely what he does IN and FOR us, can prove to be challenging. Its challenging because it means that what I do here on earth matters. It means that my efforts to teach, help, and comfort, are all a part of God's redemptive plan for the whole of creation. He has given Christians the task of being 'rescuing stewards' over creation. I love that picture. It makes so much sense and resonates in my being, BUT walking it out daily, what does that look like? Its not just about my salvation and my relationship with God. Its about something a lot bigger and a lot more hopeful. I do love it though that even though my thoughts about salvation/the kingdom of God were a bit skewed, he chose to use me anyway. He sent me to Africa to help widows and orphans. He's sent Joel and me to Japan to love on rough marine guys and really really really conservative teens. And who knows where he's going to send us, place us, or use us next. But I can say that I am more excited about it than I was before, because there is a lasting purpose to what we do here and now on earth. I still say all the time in my heart, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. To think now, that we are stewards of this is just amazing.


  1. I'm enjoying hearing someone else go through the same "reshaping". You might enjoy Wright's new book "Justification". He draws out these same themes by really getting into the Scriptures. He has whole chapters on his exposition of Paul's letters. He really starts messing with your mind when he starts disagreeing with Martin Luther's commentary on Galatians (the hallmark of Galatians commentaries).

  2. "reshaping" that's a nice word for it. Most of the time I can only read a chapter at a time because I have to go back and think about why the way I've been thinking about life is wrong. I'm sure in the end when I'm "shaped" things will be a bit easier. :) Until then...I'm glad there's grace!