Uncertainty is a constant, insecurity an honest plague. Our soul nags at us despite our wealth for death stares upon it. It is a haunting truth, a morbid reality.
Mortality spreads its wings and is not caged. Unfettered it pronounces its will upon us. She marches in merciless cadence with time, fraught with an unfelt order to wreak death upon us poor sinners. For that we all are, especially the sainted.
We are all burdened by this judgement, and no hatchdoor will present itself. Do not deny such inevitability nor fear the nearing of emptiness. Smile at her knowing one day it too shall be swallowed, she too will be gone.
At this the resurrect will stand and offer a toast, we will smile, having passed by hell. We will clap, having seen a better and truer day.
I realize this nice little fictional letter is injected with my own bias to a degree but it's an interesting thought. What would an Epistle of Paul, James or Peter look like to the Church in America or elsewhere in modern times. Interesting thought. I wonder what they would focus on in their letter specifically...?
Dear brothers, it is reported that there is much grumbling and complaining among you regarding one another. I know that you live in a land where slander and gossip has become the regular approach in conversation and that there often is little to no respect demonstrated for your fellow man. The airways are filled with vicious rhetoric and twisted words that create division and are intended to injure.
Do not be like the godless among you who have no love in their hearts and who look for power at the expense of people. Do not be those who love only for benefit. Christ died for us while we were still sinners demonstrating love for his enemies with sacrifical love and faith. Be as Christ who saw something of sonship in each of us before we were even saved. He called us while the ugliness of sin and emptiness still defined us.
Your biting and destructive talk is injurious to what God intended in you through Christ Jesus. It stops the spread of Christ's fragrance and inhibits the demonstration of his glory in your life and others. Learn to love as Christ did. Do not divide or hate. Do not label or judge. Do not strike at your brother nor have curses in your mouth for your fellowman who is made in God's image.
You must not be conformed to the pattern that is in your land, a course of selfish ambition and harsh treatment of people. Do not allow class and demographics to infect you. Many among you were poor when Christ called you, many were foolish. So how is it now that as by God's grace you prosper you forget the poor and foolish as God's forsaken or as a separate class altogether? In Christ there is no class of people. Only sons and daughters. Only called and forgiven. Forfeit your possessions if necessary but do not beocme private citizens of indifference and greed. Use your resources and faculties to love as he loved us.
Give freely and liberally. Learn to seek out people and be sensitive to their needs as they are the opportunity to show forth the glory of this gospel, the very nature of God who is love. I call you to demonstrate interdependence to the overtly independent. I admonish you to be counter-cultural and counter-class associating with the poor and standing with them in their suffering. I call you to consider your great wealth as a means to assist and rescue not merely a means for security or better living. Use what God has entrusted you with for the furtherance of the gospel.
Learn to love by the Holy Spirit as extensions of Christ and members of his body. Ask as the psalmist did to "set a guard at the doorpost of your mouth," and refuse the temptation to attack others. Shut your ears to the hateful atmosphere that surrounds you. Do not be deceived, as the kingdom transcends the passing glory of any country or kingship we may participate in. Let the glory and values of this eternal kingdom trump the glorification of this earthly and temporal land.
Obedience is more important than protest. Love, mercy and forgiveness yield more results than any piece of legislation. The hearts and minds of men are won by the light of gospel piercing the veil of unbelief in men's hearts. Prayer, obedience and your ministry to your fellow man are better pursuits than any other activity you may be drawn to. Do not think that the governments of men hold any hope of salvation. For what does it profit a country to legislate and demand its citizenry to be moral and yet lose its soul. Let true salvation for men be your first concern, pray for their hearts, be a light for them.
Pray and be stricken with a burden for the land you live in rather than live in frustration and be bound with complaint and criticism. Learn to love. Learn to die. Consider it all loss except that you may find Him. May all preoccupation of the airways and media in your land not beset you. Give yourself to daily prayer, service and have faith. May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
Our composing a letter like this as an exercise helps to reveal our pet doctrines and agendas rather starkly. I know mine crept out and reared their heads... I'm not implying what I have written here is a priority of the apostles or God but our view of what matters most directly affects our handling of this faith.
I am doing some soul searching... I want to better reflect the heart of God in what concerns me. I also don't want to let patriotism or politics infect my view of His kingdom. That is not to say I don't appreciate America and the land I live in but it is to say that I seek a far more important kingdom than this one. What would your letter read like?