The last few weeks on social media has had me going: WT #&%*@! The sadness, fear, and rage that it stirred in me was ugly. This media may be social, but, in many hearts, has only led to forming more polarized tribes. (This point has been made very forcefully and eloquently by Senator Ben Sasse in his new book THEM. A great conversation with him about this book can be found here.)
In the Church’s infancy, she grew in soil that was as toxic and conflicted as the one in which we are trying to plant Gospel seeds and Gospel communities. I’m sure the temptation to panic and rage was just as strong as many have felt in recent days.
What anchored their confident hope as exiled ambassadors was a different acronym: What’s The News From The Throne.
To the Philippians, Paul sang: The one who came from on High, went low, and now every high and exalted thing will bow at his feet. You are citizens of the Country where Jesus rules unchallenged, and from there he will come and set all things right.
To the Galatians, Paul mailed a packet of smelling salts: Who bewitched you? Why submit to slavery in the name of freedom? Christ has set you free. You are freed men, not to serve the flesh, but to walk in step with the Spirit, in the freedom steps of Sons and heirs – heirs of the Jerusalem that is New and on its way.
To the churches in Asia Minor, Jesus wrote spicy love letters: Wake up. You are meh, living like beggars and consumers, when I have made you blood-bought Kingdom-Priests. Trade in your hometown jerseys for a new name on a white stone that no one can know and no one can take away. Wake up, put on your wedding dress – I’m warming up the car to pick you up for our Wedding and the Forever Honeymoon where New Heaven and New Earth embrace and Feasting and Fireworks are the new normal.
I’m trying to cut back on social media, not so much to avoid temptation to rage and despair, or look holier than thou, but so that I can tell myself a better story, saturate myself with News from the Throne. I think that will make me a better neighbor, a better Christian, and a better ambassador of my home Country – the future that Jesus is bringing near that will cover the Earth as the waters cover the sea.
For Further Reading:
Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas
Awaiting the King by James K.A. Smith
Creation Regained by Albert Wolters
God Dwells Among Us by Greg Beale and Mitchell Kim