February 7, 2008 § 4 Comments
Unfinished: It recently struck me that this best describes our journey – while on earth it is an unfinished one in every sense of the word… We are still here, which means that journey’s end has not yet come – it remains unfinished – And everything that we are promised, and lay claim to in Christ is a work in progress – we taste the beauty and bounty of the Kingdom, but we sense that there is something more beautiful to come – because there is.
Theologians tell us that we live in this tension called, ‘the Already and the Not Yet.’ We already have fellowship with God through Jesus, but we don’t yet get to see Him face to face. We are already called the ‘children of light’ but we struggle with the ‘deeds of darkness.’ We already carry the promise that one day all our sorrows, struggles, sickness, and even death will pass away, but this is not yet our experience – we still get sad, we still struggle, we still get the flu – and one day we will die.
This is the tension we live in. On one hand everything that comes with the Kingdom of God is all there – in our hearts, in Christ – but at the same time, it is all yet to come – in the new heaven and the new earth – in Christ. It is a beautiful tension – this unfinished reality of our lives on earth – because just when we want to give up and throw in the towel we are reminded that this isn’t all there is and this isn’t all we will enjoy. In Christ, our journey is real and our destination is sure – but on earth, even in Christ, we are unfinished vessels, living out of our frailties, insecurities, personal demons and struggles with sin. And something about that is very beautiful because of the Gospel.
So the purpose of this blog will be to speak to the reality of living the Faith – imperfectly, messily, confusedly and yet with the hope that one day all that is unfinished in us will be made right… because of Jesus.
Paul, the apostle (the chief writer of the New Testament), wrote this in Philippians 1:6 – “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to the completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
That word for ‘completion’ is the same word Jesus used when he roared from the cross, ‘It is finished.’ In the Greek it is a word that gives the imagery of a circle – a complete circle. What encourages me is that here Paul acknowledges the unfinished reality of our lives – that God is doing a good work in us – it is an ongoing work – it will take the rest of our lives – we are unfinished – and we are loved in this state.
Because amazingly the One who cried, ‘It is finished!’ in His death, as He secured our Redemption, is also the One who allows us to live on earth with these imperfect, often rebellious, and always unfinished lives. peace