Brokenness, The Gospel, and the Kingdom.

My friend Jake Kaufman was written another outstanding post. There are a lot of pretty stellar things going on over there. You should check it out.

There is something particularly powerful about this post, called “When Faith Meets Reality.” As someone involved in theological academic studies, and as someone who spends way too much time in my office, there is a certain difficultly in taking the ideas and notions of faith and allowing them to intersect with the messiness of life.

I can talk a good game about passion, about laying our lives down for the sake of God’s kingdom and God’s mission. My twitter bio even says “I’m one of those crazy people who actually think Jesus meant the things he said.” And I do. I do believe Jesus meant the things he said. That no one can follow him without taking up a cross. That the call to salvation is a call to wholeness, peace, and Kingdom-oriented passion for justice & mercy & holiness. That we ought to love our neighbors, our enemies, and not be surprised when they resist us.

But you couldn’t tell it by my life.

Jake writes “‎It’s not that the teachings of Jesus are offensive or questionable to me; it’s that they are inconvenient to my routine.”

Yes. Inconvienent. Inconvenient indeed…

I have this intellectual notion that the Gospel & the Kingdom are inherently about brokenness. I would even say they are about embracing brokeness. But that idea is intellectually bound for me. It is stuck in my head, unable to make its way to my heart. Because here’s a shocking reality: messiness, brokenness, it’s inconvenient. Actually, it sucks.

But what we’ve got to realize – what I’ve got to realize – is that we are all broken. When we come to accept that we don’t have a clue how to make something of our lives, that we are utterly incapable of living a perfectly put together life on our own, we are in just the place we need to be to accept that call of God. God calls us into his Kingdom, where God takes our brokenness and the brokenness of the world and renews, restores, and redeems it for something beautiful.

 

“I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing, it’s another

Caught up in words, tangled in lies.

But you are a Savior, and you take brokenness aside and make it beautiful”

—All Sons & Daughters, Brokenness Aside

 

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove on Being Saved

Sometimes it can be difficult to make sense of a dark world. I know it has been difficult to sense what God has been doing in my life over the last several months. But constantly, God shines just a little bit of light into darkness, and it stirs hope. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove shares a brilliant story on how he is being saved. I suggest you check it out. I hold onto this:

“But I do know that right here in the midst of the mess that we’ve made of God’s good world, grace happens. And when it does, you’re saved. And when you are, you can only whisper, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” You say it while the tears flow down.

When you catch your breath, you tell the story as best you can.”

“Grace Happens”

 

 

Give Me Hope in the Darkness

This song is haunting. “Ghosts (That We Knew)” by Mumford & Sons

You saw my pain, washed out in the rain
Broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins
But you saw no fault, no cracks in my heart
And you knelt beside, my hope torn apart
But the ghosts that we knew will flicker from you
And we’ll live a long life

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold as long as you like
Just promise me we’ll be alright

So lead me back
Turn south from that place
And close my eyes from my recent disgrace
Cause you know my call
And we’ll share my all
Now children come and they will hear me roar

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold as long as you like
Just promise me that we’ll be alright

But hold me still bury my heart on the cold
And hold me still bury my heart on the cold

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold on as long as you like
Just promise me that we’ll be alright

But the ghosts that we knew will flicker from you
And we’ll live a long life