The Promise

We are near the end of a message series at church titled “2012 – Is This the End?”  Last week I posted a blog about the “signs of the times.”  This week I am going to post twice so that I can cover the start of the conversation, “The Promise” and last week’s topic, “The Event.”

In the gospel of John there is a moment where Jesus tells his disciples that he will be leaving them for a period of time.  He uses a description that does not make a whole lot of sense to most of us.  “I am going to my father’s house to prepare a place for you.”  Now, can you hear the disciples?

What?

Do you mean that we have to go live with Joseph and Mary?  In Nazareth?

Don’t you know what they say about Nazareth?  Nothing good!

Evidently the custom was for the bridegroom to go back home and build an addition onto his father’s property so he and his bride would have a place to live.  This transpired during the betrothal period – technically married but not living together because they did not have a roof to put over their heads – literally.

Jesus uses the image to talk about the period between his ascension into heaven and his second coming.  The promise that he made to his disciples then was “I’ll be back!”  (Jesus said it before Arnold and without an Austrian accent)

The church has been clinging to this promise for 2,000 years.  The reason is because we know that the world as it is, this is not what God has in mind.  The objective of God is hot pursuit of every single one of us to win us back through His love, mercy and grace.  Why?  So that we might be resurrected from the dead to inherit the restored creation.

Personally I do not trust in human ingenuity when it comes to creating the perfect order or society.  We are broken people who are prone to pride, envy, lust, gluttony, sloth, anger, and greed.  No level of social engineering will ever completely wipe out our natural attraction to these deep-seated character flaws.  I believe that only God can fundamentally transform us from our brokenness back into our full humanity.

That is the promise of God as espoused by His son – Jesus of Nazareth.  That is God’s plan of rescue.  So here is a question or two for you:

With the Mayan calendar having already run out or running out (you pick), is 2012 the end?

And if it is, are you worried about it?  Why?

I remember singing a traditional Baptist hymn that had these words – “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able, to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”  So in English now….

I believe in God’s power to keep the promise made to each of us in Jesus Christ and the faith I have committed in the promise – I’ll be back!

How about you?

Question:  What is your understanding of Jesus’ promise to return?

About Jim Hoffman

Pastor, teacher, leader, novice blogger, wanna be author and Christian conversationalist. Passionate about environmental architecture - creating spaces where people can foster new or growing relationships with each other and God. Currently leads a faith community on Ward Parkway in Kansas City and happily married to Margaret. Blessed with four adult children and two grandsons.
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