Much of our "applying the gospel" amounts to a reactive problem-solving. What would things look like, this side of resurrection morning, if we began to see God's new world intensively and pervasively? If we were to start the final paragraph of a gospel speech with the words, "I have a dream ..." then what would come next?
The answer should consist of recognisable "goods" none of which can properly be defined and none of which can truly be attained apart from Christ crucified and risen.
Much more besides, but something like this perhaps?
• forgiveness for our failures
• a lasting cure for poverty
• peace among the nations
• freedom and security
• justice for the world's oppressed
• wealth and generosity
• healing of our hurting wounds
• unbreakable community
• renewal for our planet
• inner peace and wholeness
• radiance in knowing God
• constant joy and purpose
Most people, of course, "know" that hopes like that all end in tears. They’ve been lied to, they've been let down. They can’t rely on politicians; they can’t believe the press.
If you dream, they think, … you’ll be disappointed.
If you trust, they think, … you’ll be betrayed.
If you love, they think, … you’ll get hurt.
But what if …
A man once lived to give the dream both shape and colour
That man then died to take away the nightmares
And now he lives and reigns to make the dream a reality ...
That'd be something eh?