Thursday, December 20, 2012

I heard a terrific story about Albert Einstein a week or so ago. Seems that Dr. Einstein was working as an adjunct professor at Oxford University and had just given a physics exam to one of his senior classes. As he and his teaching assistant were walking back to Einstein’s office, the young assistant asked, “Dr. Einstein, wasn’t that the same exam you gave to the class last year?”
               “It was indeed,” said Einstein.
               “I don’t understand,” the assistant said. “How could you give the same class the same exam a year later?”
               “Well,” said Einstein, “that’s easy. The answers have changed.”
               I found that a compelling little story. It is indicative of the world in which we now live. Think about it … I wake up to a country that on so many levels is alien to me. What was once virtuous is now a vice; what was once evil is now good; and the church of Jesus Christ, once considered even by unbelievers as a positive thing, is regularly maligned with impunity. In our society, the questions are the same, but the answers have changed.
               Mercy. The claim that it is somehow a sign of a healthy, free society that by the way of a vote we can rewrite our language, turn our morals upside down, and trash our time-tested traditions is a sign of how lost we are.
               Some may consider this and despair. Don’t do that. The tomb is empty and the throne is occupied. Either God is sovereign and rules over the affairs of man, or He doesn’t. I can assure you He is not perched in the heavenlies, wringing His hands, wondering what He is to do next. “I’ve got this,” He wants us to know.
               I wouldn’t presume to try to predict what He is up to. I do know this: We don’t give up hope. One day, God will visit us. He may visit us through revival. I’ve been reading about the 1904 Welsh revival, and man alive, what a joy to see how God worked in those days! And one day, He will visit us in His return, when all wrongs will be set right and all the fierce little kingdoms of this world – including ours – will be reduced to nothingness. The kingdom of God has already come in Jesus Christ, but the final consummation of kingdom is not yet here. That is our blessed hope. We realize that we are pilgrims and sojourners here, because this is not our home. But we are still to engage with culture. If we simply conform to the culture, we would not be salt and light to the culture. If we don’t conform at all, the salt would remain in it the salt shaker and the light under a basket.
               So, don’t let’s give up hope. If you have an unconverted brother or sister, son or daughter … if someone in your family is far from God, don’t give up hope. The Lord could visit tomorrow and they would be saved.  Don’t give up hope in your church. Don’t give up on those who once seemed to seek after the things of God and are now absent from the faith. Let’s work together, and love each other, and strive for good together, because one day our great God and Savior will certainly visit us. He did so in a manger centuries ago, and will again one day soon enough.