I have come to realize over the years that my place in God's Kingdom is to help synthesize some of the complexities in order to remove stumbling blocks to understanding and living the Good News. For many, the complexities of theology (and all the other "ology"s) suck the life out of the Good News. There is Good News that is simple enough for the simplest mind to grasp.
Please, let us all grasp that Good News -- before we spend all our heart and soul and mind and strength loving knowledge (that so often puffs up) and then arguing with others (which so often does not take the form of speaking the truth in love) about things that we may or may not really understand all that well -- so that it will radically change the way we see ourselves and those around us, and move us to live loved by God so that we can live loving others.
None of us are cross-cultural enough to "get" everything. But we must "get" some of the key cultural contexts in order to bring the counter-cultural power of Jesus (and Paul) into our current context. I have mentioned some of my current thoughts about that here and here. And some core thinking here, here, and here. For those of you who have time on your hands for reading, that is.... ;^)
- Our heavenly Father loves us with an everlasting love. Period. He consistently and faithfully is at work in us and in the midst of life's circumstances to get us to RELAX in that knowledge. Really.
- Jesus Christ, from his pre-existence, birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension, was sent from God to show us the Father completely and to reconcile our brokenness. If you don't get #1, you will not recognize the Truth here in #2.
- With God now understood as "our" Father -- our heavenly Papa -- we are to call no man father in that sense. There is no human who has the power to command our total obedience and usurp Papa's place. Those who have been set free are not to submit to bondage again! Men, deal with it, please.
- We are to understand each other as brothers and sisters first and foremost in all relationships and dealings. There is to be no more struggle for honor or position or place or power or influence over others. We are younger siblings of Jesus Christ, Papa's Firstborn. As Jesus was completely obedient to Papa's will--even unto death--we are to do the same. Sibling rivalry is deadly.
- Jesus is Lord -- and he chose the path of service. Don't look to be served. Whatever service you give to others, Jesus receives it as service to himself. If you don't get #1, you will struggle with this. Please, get #1!
- The Kingdom of God is found in each life journey where Papa's love is received and his will is obeyed. It is about relationships. It is a dance. The Holy Spirit is the Piper and we dance according to the tune played. Learn to recognize the many tunes in the Spirit's repertoire. Jesus knows all the steps in the dance--relax and follow his lead. Really. RELAX!