The Kingdom, The Triangle, The Bailout
People are afraid. Across America, around the world, the great god Mammon tosses and turns in his dark and bloody sleep, and mortals cower as their stored-up treasures dwindle. Even children of YHWH Most High tremble in the midst of the economic chaos, looking to earthly governments and financial institutions for a bail-out that will rescue them and place their feet back on solid ground.
This is only the latest in a series of disasters that have shaken mankind’s optimism and belief in progress. The first modern disaster shattered the dreams of the Renaissance when an earthquake shattered Lisbon, Portugal on All Saints’ Day, 1755. After that, World War I. After that, the Great Depression. After that, the Holocaust. On and on and on, right up to 9/11 and the 2004 tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.
How do we typically respond? In one of three ways:
- We ignore evil unless it slaps us in the face. In the city, crimes have no witnesses. No one hears anything. It seems safer that way, and so
- We are surprised by evil when it happens. “He seemed so nice.” “Things like that just don’t happen around here!” We fool ourselves into thinking that the world is basically all right, we use make-up and money to pretend we aren’t going to die, and we banish the aged and dying to antiseptic hideaways. We ignore evil, so we’re shocked by it, and so
- We react in immature and dangerous ways when it does happen. We project ‘evil’ onto others, generating a culture of blame while pleading our own innocence. “It’s the government’s fault!” “It’s society’s fault!” “It’s THEIR fault!” OR We project evil onto ourselves, saying that no one but ourselves is to blame for all the evil around us. Criminals are victims of the affluent society; husbands beat their wives because their fathers beat their mothers.
How does God respond? When humankind rebelled, God himself promised a bailout – a rescue – a salvation. He promised it to Adam and Eve; He promised it to Abraham; he promised it to David; he promised it over and over to the prophets. When his bailout appeared, it did not wrest life away from one in order to give it to another. The gift of life, free to all, came in the life and death of Jesus Christ. In his life, given to save the world, he picked out a 3-mile x 3-mile x 3-mile triangle in Palestine. Between Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida, he did almost 75% of his teaching, his healing, his powerful yet intimate display of the love of God.
After he died, giving his life to fulfill his Father’s promise of a rescue, a bailout, he told his followers to go do what he had done – go be the bailout for the world. Go spread and share the bailout you’ve received. Go mark out small areas and take responsibility for rescuing that place – may the kingdom of God burst forth through you into that place and as you lay down your life daily, rescue those who draw near to God because of you.
in HIS love,