Sunday January 13, 2008 | Seth McCoy
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all his people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people.
Is the good news of Jesus Christ really as good in your mind as it was in the mind of Jesus? God's dream for humanity is far more amazing than most of us realize. He wants to “marry” us, to invite us into his family and walk in radical love with us.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news to the world that God has a made a way for peace (“shalom” in Hebrew) so that mankind can live according to the dream that God had in mind from the beginning of the world. When there is peace, the dividing walls between people are torn down. This is much more than a Gospel message about where we will go when we die. This is about how we live today and the freedom to live that way.
In the movie Pinocchio, the wooden puppet wanted to be more than he was. He wanted to be a little boy and be a part of his master’s family. In the same way, the Gospel (“good news”) is about how we can be more than we are, about how we are invited to participate as a member of God’s family. Ultimately this means that we are invited into a radical unity with God, similar to a marriage. In marriage, the two become one. The Gospel is about how we can walk in a marriage relationship with God as one who dances with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In the first century, the path to marriage was very different than it is today. When a man and woman were betrothed to one another, it was as if they were fully married, except they did not live together. The man would prepare a home and get ready to provide for a family. The woman would prepare herself for the weeding ceremony and wait for the coming of her betrothed. In the same way, we are living in this betrothal period with Jesus. He will come for his bride, the church. How will the church look on that day? Will you be faithful, contributing to the beauty of the church?