January 12, 2014
BAPTISM OF OUR LORD (A)
The sky opened and he saw the spirit of God. Mt. 3: 16
There is no need to predict the future since our Lord has already disclosed it. It is not obscure, just not appreciated. The answer does not come by considering theories, but by considering a personality the definitive personality in all history. First of all, the future is not a blank expanse of time in which we find ourselves pulled this way or that by either chance or fate. It is an assignment to each of us for a particular slice of events yet to be, in which we have a particular opportunity to improve or impede improvement, to do right or wrong, to discover or lose ourselves.
Jesus has broken the barrier between present & future. More than predicting His future, He had entered into it just as surely as He had plunged into the Jordan river. Unbelievers speak of chance or fate, but Jesus speaks of hope.
When He came up out of the waters that day, He may not have known the full meaning of the experience he had; but he knew that somewhere along the line it would all fall into place & make sense because His Father knew what it was all about. In a vital sense the future is not the approach of events that have not occurred, but the motion of our steps that either brings us closer to God or further away from Him. Christ is the future because He is the alpha & the omega.
Anyone can guess about the pitfalls that lie ahead, but Christ provides the answer to the only significant question: When we get wherever we are going, will we be happy? Without the harmony between ourselves & the God who created us, there is no future worth worrying about.
As C.S. Lewis has observed, If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on earth precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven & you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth & you will get neither. AMEN!