So very much has changed this summer. The Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is legal across the nation. A federal judge has decided that court clerks who disagree should go to jail. The U.S. seems to be on the verge of a very troubling treaty with Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are adrift in Europe. ISIS continues to terrorize the Middle East and Planned Parenthood has been shown by recent undercover videos to be perpetrating a surgical barbarism here at home.
With all that’s happening, it’s easy to feel that we will be overwhelmed and crushed beneath the weight of evil. In our present situation, I think this quote by Summit faculty member Alex McFarland (paraphrasing C.S. Lewis’ essay “The World’s Last Night”) is extraordinarily relevant:
Indeed, the curtain on the stage of history has already fallen, and we believers know how the story ends. We know that Christ is coming back and time as we know it will one day be over. But that does not absolve us of the responsibility to faithfully carry out our God-given daily tasks. Some of us are called to feed the animals on a farm and others are called to plan some great campaign that may benefit history a hundred years from now. Deep in our hearts we know Christ is coming back, time will come to an end, and our plans for tomorrow may never come to fruition. But it doesn’t matter. The important thing is this: that we were at our post when the inspection comes.
This is not the end. God has chosen not to reveal all the plot points, but we know how His story ends. Jesus wins. Our hope is secure. No matter how dark our days may be, we must not despair.
Nor has our duty as Christians changed. Glenn Sunshine has shared some amazing stories of Christians who’ve changed the world. You’ve probably never heard of many of them, but they all have two things in common: First, they lived out their convictions without regard to personal peace and safety. Second, they were faithful where God had called them. God asks no more and no less of each of us.
And changing the world means reaching people. We don’t ignore nations, cultures, or arts. But as we engage with culture, we mustn’t forget, as Glenn Stanton puts it, that people are “of inestimable worth … deeply and passionately loved by God.” We don’t get to decide who our neighbor is, but we can decide whether or not we will obey God’s command to love them (Luke 10:27). The stakes are eternal. Heaven and hell exist, Lewis reminds us, and “all day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.”
Our lives are lived between what is and what ought to be. Every minute of every day, Christ is everything. He is our source. He is our destination. In him we live and move and have our being. It is through His power we can love genuinely while abhorring what is evil and holding fast to what is good (Rom 12:9).
Nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Whatever happens in 2015 and the years that follow, we must be about his work while the daylight lasts. May we be found at our posts when the inspection comes.