Good News in a Bad News Oriented Kind of World, Part 3

Author Steven James is a great story teller. He wrote a book called Story: Recapture the Mystery. Tucked away in this little book is a poem that I feel cleverly captures one of the greatest reasons as to why this world is often filled with such bad news. The poem is entitled boxing god and is

Come here, god. I’d like to keep you in this little shoe box. I’d like to pull you out whenever I need you and put you away whenever I don’t. Come on. Climb in.

There you go…now, let me just slide this lid over the top and…okay, now, I’ll just set you here in the closet and keep you handy for a rainy day…

Hmmm…I have to say, I didn’t think you’d fit so easily. I actually thought I might have to really pound on you to squeeze you in there.

Imagine that. Pounding on you to make you fit! Ha. How funny is that?

The tragedy is that many people do not know what to “do” with God or any notion of Him. I suppose there are many reasons, many of which I would imagine have less to do with Jesus Himself and more to do with His followers. Either way I think that James is on to something in this poem. And what he is on to, I believe is quite subtle.

It isn’t God we are boxing in. It is the good news of a redemptive and restorative love that we are putting away. But if in our hearts and minds we allow God to simply be Himself (no matter how disorienting), it is the good news of a redemptive and restorative love that we receive. And when we receive it, we can enjoy it. And if we enjoy it, we will unleash it by demonstrating tangible acts of love, mercy, and hope to others in the name of the One, the Lord Jesus, who made it all happen through a blood stained cross and an empty tomb. Now that is good news in a bad news oriented kind of world.

Let God be God.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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