I think my greatest delight yesterday, amidst all the Easter celebrations, was simply in re-reading in Luke 24. Specifically, I was enthralled by those three little words that are, literally, the crux of our Christian faith: “He is risen” (v. 6).
But now comes Monday. Reminiscent of the time after Christmas when the torn wrapping paper is cleared away, the new toys, clothing, books, and accessories stowed appropriately, the tree and other decorations taken down and stored for another year, and, after all the festivities, the return to school or the workaday world for another year.
What comes after Easter Resurrection? We all, as Christians, have been resurrected in Christ but resurrection is not the end of the story. There is still much to be done. In our resurrection, we receive new life, and that empowered by the Holy Spirit for our transformation from the old, worldly self into the new Kingdom self.
Somehow, in the privatizing of our religion in the last century or so, we have lost sight of what comes after Easter. The Bible’s story of God’s redeeming work, as it extends to all creation, has been muted. Our focus has drawn back and the story seems to end on Easter morn. In the infamous Words of the Apostle Paul, “Heaven forbid!”
God has promised a future and a hope, not just for God-followers but also for the redemption of the earth as God’s Kingdom is already coming “on earth as it is in heaven.” Are you living into that prophetic expectation uttered by none other than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
How do we live into the Kingdom now while waiting with expectant urgency for the culmination of the Kingdom as His return? The Church is culpable for where the world is headed. We have the power of heaven backing us to transform the meta-institutions of the world. There is coming a day when the theocracy of Jesus Christ will be fully established. Until that day, we are to be about changing the status quo.
“He is risen indeed.” What are we doing to explain and demonstrate His reign . . . here and now? There is a move of God taking place in the marketplace but thus far it is only a fledgling movement in most quarters. All of God’s people in the marketplace have the opportunity to reach their communities for the cause of Christ. But we have opportunities swelling to reach, and change, the world.
How does your faith translate into good news for the poor? As you read this, there are organizations and movements coalescing around the world, seeking to strategize how to be most effective in advancing God’s agenda in the world. Are you taking part?
As a researcher, I have the privilege of being perhaps more aware than most of some of what God is doing in and through the marketplace to alter the world’s political economy. I am pressing into more research and publishing that I hope will contribute to a growing awareness of that movement and how we each can take greater part. But know this, the Church, especially those Christians living in the luxury of developed economies, is being called out to engage beyond just doing good in their workplace or hometown. We are challenged to challenge our lifestyles, that we would find ways to invest in the poor, whether financially or by education or by prayer, such that the world will look on the Church as a “wise and understanding people” (Deuteronomy 4:6). But our financial culpability is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of our walk with the Lord.
What questions arise for those who hear the cry of the poor and recognize that God is moving in the realms of politics and economics? What information is critical to move us from where we are to where we should be?
This post is an open invitation for engagement. I am planning to publish two or three e-books in the coming weeks. One is on the movement in business and mission, a primer of sorts. A second will consider what Kingdom economics look like. Please join the conversation.