Tuesday, October 31, 2006

the audacity of hope

I read a George MacDonald book this month. One phrase has stuck like a thorn in my brain: “If it is possible in heaven, then it is possible on earth.”

It sounded a bit pie-in-the-sky-ish to me until I was assaulted by the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday. The little part where it says, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” The kingdom of God has to do with the here-and-now and is wrapped up in outrageous hope. If it is possible in heaven, I have to believe it is possible on earth- this is what it means to live with a sense of Christian hope.

I have this dark black cloud of Oaxaca-under-siege hanging over my head. What does it mean to bring heaven to a place that looks more like hell than anything else? This is one of those “I-believe-help-my-unbelief” situations for me. I don’t think I really believe peace can exist and pain can end today. Or tomorrow. Or in this life. In the words of MacDonald’s literary child, C.S. Lewis, I am content making mud pies in my back-yard when the potential of sand-castles on the sea-shore is being offered to me. I desire too little- because I have a very narrow vision of hope.

“If it is possible in heaven, then it is possible on earth.”

1 comment:

chris said...

hey phil,

i wrestle with the same thoughts in regards to 'the Kingdom' Jesus talked about so extensively being here and now on earth.

if you ever get the chance (with all the free time i'm sure you have at your disposal) you should read Dallas Willard's books, 'The Divine Conspiracy' and 'The Spirit of the Disciplines.' he has a lot to say about the Kingdom being here and now.

i'd love to catch-up over the phone. it's been too long, my friend. know that we're praying for oaxaca and your families...