With Wednesday’s post I completed the meditation on God’s acts of providence as they relate to formation of the primitive Church. At that point the Church had experienced bewildering (from the world’s perspective) success. After all the powers of this world had conspired to utterly destroy its founder, Jesus of Nazareth. His followers should have slunk back to their homes to pretend for the rest of their insignificant lives that they had never known Him.
Yet, because God so willed it through His acts of providence, the opposite happened. Christ’s death and resurrection led to an empowering by the Holy Spirit that breathed courage, wisdom, love and hope into those who the world considered to be as nothing. So, we leave off with the world’s counter attack in full swing, with Saul on his way (so he thinks) to wiping this new Way from the face of the earth.
The story will be taken up again in “Effectual Calling: Becoming The Apostle Paul.”
It’s my hope that these meditations will provide confidence and trust about God’s work in this fallen world, even when everything appears to be crashing down around us.
Speaking of that, the topic I’m taking up is, surprise, the current presidential election. The offerings from our two major political parties present concerning evidence of social disfunction. I will expand on this concern at length in the following weeks.
What’s fascinating and challenging about God’s providence is that He includes us in its acts. That is, though the eventual outcome is safe in God’s hands, He yet demands that we “do our part.” The apparent logical contradictions in this formulation can cause rejection or passivity. Under orthodox Reformed theology they lead to neither. Rather, they provide the confidence to act, knowing that, as we seek and do God’s will there is no opposing power on earth that can prevail. We also know that, as we, being frail and foolish, make mistakes that deviate from God’s will, He will yet use us to ultimately accomplish His perfect ends (see The Chief End of Man: Abraham and Sarah).
So, I will dive into the presidential election commentary with this thought as my comfort and hope.