I have to say that I was truly challenged this week with our Faith-Work study on the Economy of Order. I always imagined order as necessary for the functioning of civilization. History manifests that without justice and order that people devolve into a host of evils. That is why we have the police, magistrates, a prison system, a system of laws. These are all present to maintain order.
I have always imagined that when God sets up His kingdom that things would be different because sin and Satan, principal catalysts to evil and disorder, will be eliminated from the kingdom to come. This thinking has always instilled in me an attitude of waiting until heaven.
Although it’s true that Christ will renew all things in eternity and we will never see complete justice and order here on this earth, we are still called as Christians to the “flourishing” of society here on this earth. I think I’ve heard “flourishing” at least a hundred times in these DVD studies! If flourishing is one of our responsibilities as exiles living in this world then it is very important to the Lord that I spend my time, talents and treasures to flourish this present society!
My mentality was very apathetic to this calling. I always thought that since complete Justice, Order and Equity would only be achieved in Heaven then it would be pointless to focus my full attention to it here on this earth. I believed evangelism and preparing people for heaven was the only important goal to focus on. I appreciate that this study has opened my eyes to the flourishing of the earth! I am praying and wrestling with what this will look like in my life.
I loved this DVD episode on the marionette play of Les Miserables. The bishop says to Jean Valjean, “I have ransomed you for Christ so that now you will live life for Him.” Jean Valjean had never known grace on this earth, only a life of oppression and sin. The bishop’s hospitality changed all that because now he knew a different path! I also loved what John Perkins said: “The view of modern charity is that you give dignity to the person being helped.” You don’t give dignity to someone.” God has already done this by creating that person in His image “you affirm dignity!” Hospitality is affirming the dignity and value that person needs! I will definitely seek ways that I can be hospitable to the stranger because I know it is my calling as a Christian.