Friday, July 25, 2008

Obama is inspiring - but he promises to much

I have been thinking about our great desire for unity in diversity, it’s a theme I hear often expressed in church life and general conversation. The need for more tolerance, acceptance –there is a yearning to be at peace with one another.

Obama is inspiring and he knows this desire is powerful –listen to his speech
"People of Berlin -- and people of the world -- the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long...Let us build on our common history, and seize our common destiny, and once again engage in that noble struggle to bring justice and peace to our world."
While this is a wonderful vision, it is flawed. It fails to recognise the depth of the problem. Sure we can do things which assist but in the end it is not our within our grasp:

As Tim Keller suggests the problem is, when:
“you build your identity mainly on your class, or race, or culture, or performance you will necessarily vilify and disdain anyone who lacks what you consider the cornerstone of your own significance.”
The Obama vision is dependent on performance and I think in the end it will vilify those without his vision- despite his best intentions.

For the Christian there is another approach. Speaking of Christ Jesus, Paul says in Colossians 1
8And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Christ Jesus is the hope of reconciliation for this world. God will reconcile all things to himself through Christ -that's all things!

What’s more those who have been reconciled to God become ambassadors of reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5
7Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God,who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Note: Its Christ's performance not ours that counts and that performance involved dying for enemies at great cost -it is not just warm and wishful thinking or even a genuine striving on our part. I am going to place my yearning for peace and for unity in diversity in the reconciler and just enjoy the oratory of Obama.

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