Archive for the ‘Promise’ Tag

Living In and Through Your Impossibilities!

Impossible with man

Everywhere I turn lately, and I mean everywhere, I am seeing and experiencing impossibilities! On a national level, I see the impossibility of our trying to permanently solve domestic abuse issues. I see the impossibility of our laws and courts to legislate racial harmony.

Locally and personally, I experience the impossibility of seeing the issues and biting problems of communities, families, and bad relationships issues solved by people participating in the Good News of God: Father, Son and Spirit. I have learned the impossibility of trying to use apologetics and healing to prove and convince people of God. I know the impossibility of  trying to solve some of my thorniest and bone-weary problems, including getting a house sold and rented properly for more than 18 years after moving from it for the sake of Jesus calling me into His practical pastoral ministry in another state! hmpf! And being middle-aged, I am learning the impossibility of so much more than that “small stuff” I just mentioned…hahaha… (anyone 40 and above feeling me?!)

AND, in God’s good grace, I am learning that this is REALLY all Good News! Ha!

Why?!

Well, as Andrew Root writes about in his book entitled “Taking Theology to Youth Ministry”:

“The Church has often confessed that creation itself is ex nihilo, “out of nothingness”….The God of the burning bush [God: Father, Son and Spirit] reveals Godself out of human impossibility. Sarah is ninety, Abraham is impotent, Moses is a stutterer, and David is too young and small to be considered. God reveals Godself next to nothingness and impossibility; the breaking in of God often happens next to human weakness and yearning, in the backward and hidden (1 Corinthians 1:18). It is here that God moves; it is here that God is revealed; it is here that Gospel and mission are linked. God’s mission is to enter our impossibilities with the goodness that from the act of God a new reality in the love of God is breaking forth.

So, when we ask…’What is God up to in your life, where is God moving?'” we are compelled to look for God’s action in the kinds of places God is revealed. We look for God in places of brokenness, yearning, and suffering, places where God takes these deaths upon Godself for the sake of life. God is active at the places of our raw humanity. It is here, in our raw humanity, that we enter gospel and mission, that gospel and mission are held together. For the God of creation, the God [Father, Son and Spirit], the God who hears the groaning of God’s people, acts where there is the scent of nothingness. The God of exodus acts in those places where we are held captive, revealing Godself so death might be overcome with life.” pp.87-88

Footnoting the late Ray Anderson on this topic, Andrew quotes Ray who writes, “Why did the Lord wait until Moses was eighty years old, a failure and fugitive, with no possibilities? Because the element of human possibility must be removed. The people were powerless and helpless. They cried out to the Lord. Moses was chosen to be the redeemer because he was also without power on the human level. Moses understood that this “powerlessness” is itself a necessary ingredient in the chemistry of divine grace.” The Soul of Ministry, 45.

\May this Advent season for the Church, or season of focusing on the Coming of God: Father, Son and Spirit, in Jesus Christ, be a reminder and encouragement to you that God comes to us in our nothingness; our sin, death and hells. Our impossibilities. And He comes not at our initiative (our initiative is long dead and broken in sin!), but in his own initiative to bring forth his own future by His own Coming.

So as you and I believers enter into and participate in the suffering and death of this world with Father, through Jesus, and by the Spirit, no matter our age or circumstance,

“…we embody the promise that God is acting to bring forth God’s kingdom. Our hope is not that our efforts can make the world a better place. Our hope is in the action of God to open our eyes to see the small-but-sure ways God’s new reality is breaking forth.” – Andrew Root, Taking Theology To Youth Ministry, p.69

“[The end times and last things]…has finally not to do with the best that we can hope for in this world, but with a new world which will be brought into being only when God wills and acts to do so.” Richard Bauckham and Trevor Hart, Hope Against Hope: Christian Eschatology at the Turn of the Millennium, p.174

(In a related thought, though many people have been have been MISUNDERSTANDING and making fun of Janay Rice’s comment that she and NFL husband Ray Rice’s recent domestic violence incident was “God’s Plan!”, I suspect God: Father, Son and Spirit has shown up, and out, and IN the Rice’s impossibility. He loves creating possibilities out of our nothingness!)

– tjbrassell

 

 

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