What is God’s plan for us and our world?
In creating us and our world God intended that we be his royal priests in reflecting his will and character in all the world and nurturing and guiding creation to it full flourishing as a temple for God to dwell in with for all eternity.
Why are we not what God intended us to be?
Unfathomably, we rejected our identity and vocation as God’s royal priests by trying to run our lives apart from God. Sadly, we only succeeded in turning our lives over to other powers and forces thereby ceding to them the power and authority we should have wielded and which they, in turn wield in dehumanizing and destructive ways.
What has God done about this?
Loving us beyond measure and merit, God has passionately and relentlessly sought to reclaim and restore us to our created identity and vocation as his royal priests.
-God called Abraham and Sarah to be the parents of a new family, Israel, through whom he would bless the world.
-When even Israel failed him, God himself came to us as one of us in Jesus of Nazareth, the one faithful Jew through whom he will bless the world.
-As Israel’s representative and substitute Jesus repeated its journey, this time faithfully living out its vocation as royal priests, and in dying for this people showed them and the world the never-ending love of God and his endless commitment to his purposes for humanity and the world.
-By raising Jesus from the dead God vindicated and validated Jesus’ way as his own, defeated all his enemies and made him Lord and Ruler of the world, inaugurated his new creation amid the decaying and dying old world, and called together a new Israel (now made up of both Jews and Gentiles) through faith in the risen Lord Jesus who share with the world the good news that God is faithful, Jesus is Victor, and through him we are freed from our idolatries and restored to our true identity and vocation lost through sin.
What does God want from us and for us?
To return to him through Christ and receive anew our true identity and vocation. To take up that vocation by participating in God’s new Israel and living the life God always intended for us here and now amid the old world that is passing away. This way of life is conflicted because the old world keeps on futilely fighting against God’s will for it. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, though, even the worst this world can do to this has been turned into powerful witness for God’s kingdom (martyrdom). Jesus’ death opens the way for us to be renewed in this identity and vocation through the forgiveness of sins which is the sign of the change of the ages. God has come to take up his rightful rule and calls each of to participate in the implementation and spread of that rule and be the answer to Jesus’ prayer that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.”