I have just ordered N.T. Wright’s book, Surprised by Hope. I’ve wanted to order it for awhile, but made the decision after my friend Lauren sent me two quotes from this book. This first one has struck me on several counts. First, I am always wanting to be more strategic in our love, in our ministry, in our outreach. Second, there are many days where I realize that the majority of my day (often the WHOLE day) is spent within our home or within a five minute bike ride of our home. My focus is often on our four children and family whose needs often seem to pull me in many different directions that may not be feeling particularly strategic. Third, I often wish I could “do” more — I wish I could go with Eric up to Tohoku each time; I wish that we could multiply our efforts up there – care for more people, take more food and aid; listen exponentially to the stories of pain and bring more hope. But it is so wonderful to know that all of these things are part of the mission of God.
Here is the quote:
“This brings us to 1 Corinthians 15:58 once more: …what you do in the Lord is not in vain. You are– strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself– accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God’s new world. Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world–all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make. That is the logic of the mission of God. . . “(p 208)
And this: (p 280): “It will, of course, be costly. You don’t get to share in God’s life and escape without wounds. Look what happened to Jesus himself.”