Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Personal and Global Holiness Belong Together

When I returned from my first Doctor of Ministry co-hort meeting back in May, there was a strong sense that the Lord was doing an authentic work of renewal in my life (see Back from St. Louis post). I'm now 4 1/2 months removed from the time in St. Louis and in some ways the "mountain-peak" high of returning from such an amazing time has subsided. Still I think the authentic work of the Spirit always comes with lasting fruit, fruit that will last, as Jesus said (John 15:16). Reading N.T. Wright this morning was a reminder that the theme I was seeing most clearly back in May, continues on. I described God's work in my life (in the blogpost referenced) in this way: "Who I am in my heart matters- it matters to my wife, my children, my church, my community- it matters to the world and above all it matters to the One who made all things in the first place to matter."  Wright continues this prominent theme by putting it this way, "personal holiness and global holiness belong together":

The message of Easter, then, is neither that God once did a spectacular miracle but then decided not to do many others nor that there is a blissful life after death to look forward to. The message of Easter is that God's new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you're now invited to belong to it. And precisely because the resurrection was and is bodily, albeit with a transformed body, the power of Easter to transform and heal the present world must be put into effect both at the macrolevel, in applying the gospel to the major problems of the world- and if Soviet Communism and apartheid don't count on that scale I don't know what does- and to the intimate details of our daily lives. Christian holiness consists not of trying as hard as we can to be good but of learning to live in the new world created by Easter, the new world we publicly entered in our baptism. There are many parts of the world we can't do anything about except pray. But there is one part of the world, one part of physical reality, that we can do something about, and that is the creature each of us calls 'myself.' Personal holiness and global holiness belong together. Those who wake up to the one may well find themselves called to wake up to the other as well. Surprised by Hope, p. 253

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