Even in children’s stories, we find the world out of tune. Whether there are sharks swimming the bath tub, pretentious engines who will not help the stalled train full of toys over the mountain, or unkind badgers who refuse to share, good stories address the difference between the world that is and the world that ought to be.
I’ve been thinking about communicating, even translating, the essentials Christian story for the people I expect to encounter as I serve here. Last week was the initial foray and as you may guess, installment number two tries to capture what is wrong in the world. This is an ambitious goal for a three paragraph blog post.
(reminder # 1 – God is person outside of you. He made a world of goodness and beauty in which we are meant to love him and serve each other.)
2. The world is messed up and we can’t seem to make it right. The status quo of ugliness, degradation, and ruin is both inherited and chosen so that we each end up being victims and perpetrators of wrong. No one comes through life with their hands and conscience clean.
The polluted stream that is humanity originates in our rejecting God himself and substituting smaller things in his place. Instead of loving and serving the very source of life and meaning, we center our lives on ourselves and whatever we desire. Placing anything less than God at the center of existence twists us and breaks the harmony for which this world was intended. Due to this inward sickness our lives do not conform to the standard of goodness for which God has made us. Instead of bringing God delight and joy we are offensive and ugly in his sight. Even worse, we cannot make ourselves whole. This is nothing in our power to reverse the sickness and turn us from the complete ruin that awaits the close of this life.
This is bad news. It is followed by good news, but this good news can only be understood in the light of the bad.