The Incarnate Church

We are sinful people living in a broken world; the days are evil.  Evil days bring many temptations: some people are just waiting for it to be over, just hanging on by their fingernails until they die or the rapture comes.  Others delude themselves into a false cheer, a Pollyana view of the world where they pretend that the days are not evil at all.  Others—especially political conservatives—fall into the temptation perfectionism.  They proceed to take the evil days as an excuse to complain about everything, and their shrill voices fill the airwaves.  If we succumb to those temptations, we are fools who use the evil days as an excuse not to redeem the time.  The charge this week is simple enough: be wise.  Redeem the time because the days are evil.  Now is our chance to sing heartily, to each other and to God.  Now is the time to be grateful for everything.  Now is the time to submit to each other’s needs and care for one another.  Whatever we do, let’s do it thankfully, caringly, and singing to each other and the Lord.

We can do this because we are Christ’s body, connected to our Head who has already won His victory on the earth, which will one day be covered with the knowledge of God’s glory like water covers the sea.  The question is not how we can sing, but how can we not?

We are Christians; we are Christ’s body, and Christ’s body sings.  So sing!

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2 Responses to The Incarnate Church

  1. Jim Reitman says:

    Great intuition, Tim. I think the key word in this post is Redeem. Let’s see if we can take it a bit further to see what’s really at stake as believers in our present view of the world.

    If we look at the environment we are in as irredeemably broken, then we’ve already lost it. God is interested in redeeming everything to His sovereign purposes and He has chosen us as His agents of redemption in Christ. It is not until we see ourselves as His fully grace-invested vessels of His glory that we will see our surroundings as the fertile ground for redemptive activity that it truly is.

    Yes, the world as we know it is ultimately subjected to all-consuming fire (2 Pet 3:7)…BUT those things that have been redeemed to His purposes will remain (Heb 12:25-29; 1 Cor 3:12-14). So my question is this: How many of us really want to partake in that which will “remain”? Seems to me the true wisdom that would avoid the extremes of complacency and what you call perfectionism entails diligently listening to His voice for the redemptive directions He is giving His people in this world now (Heb 3:1-4:13; 12:25-26) to “build” on that foundation which will survive the fire and not be “shaken.” Who among us is really listening? And how do we know?

  2. Tim Nichols says:

    Jim,

    Re. being agents of redemption and grace-invested vessels of His glory — AMEN!

    This is where we need to get past being so chary about acknowledging means of grace. The world is filled with means of God’s grace, and we are meant to be means of grace in the lives of others. We are insufficient for this, of course.

    But a finite sunset is insufficient to convey God’s glory, and yet it does. Man is insufficient to convey God’s image, and yet we do–and in Christ we are actually able to do it.

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