|Foyle's Brits and Jesus' Followers - Posted 9/14/2016
From Pastor Chris
Rachael and I have started watching Foyle’s War, a British detective drama set in the Second World War. The episodes we are watching now are set in 1940, when the possibility of German invasion loomed large over the Brits who tried to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
In the show, many imagined how dramatically different life would be under German rule. Some Nazi sympathizers jumped the gun by propagating fascist and anti-Semitic sentiments. Others made reckless decisions, believing that the Germans would arrive any day, erasing any consequences of that behavior. Police officers mused over whether they would be allowed to live.
This past set of events gives us a helpful context for thinking of the future return and reign of Jesus Christ (with the explicit caveat that Hitler led a cruel, wicked kingdom and Jesus will rule in righteousness and peace). When Jesus returns, the people in power now will no longer be in power. The values of Jesus’ rule will become the values of the new creation. Everything will change.
Yet some have wrongly concluded that this justifies reckless behavior. Whether it is exorbitant spending, misuse of God’s creation, or moral laxity, some assume “it doesn’t matter” since Jesus will be back soon to make all things new.
This logic runs opposite to New Testament teaching. Our call to watch and pray for Jesus’ return is meant to launch us into lives of holiness and wise stewardship of resources. Paul calls us to “self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:12) as we wait for our blessed hope, Jesus’ appearing. Peter says that our anticipation of the Day of the Lord should produce “lives of holiness and godliness,” and that we should “be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (2 Peter 3:11, 14).
As we begin our study of the beatitudes–the blessings Jesus speaks over those who embrace him as King–let us consider how to live under his rule now. As we repent of our ways of doing things, may the Spirit empower us to live out the same justice and peace that will characterize God’s kingdom eternally.