• What is wrong? 

    I believe that what is "wrong" on the larger/global scale is that we are in times of great falling away - that is, of growing apathy, ignorance and deception - as foretold by Jesus himself. In the sense that this is all in step with prophecy, it is "right" (not morally, but "according to plan"). To stay encouraged, I find that I need to keep sight of where we are in God's story for this world, and adjust our expectations accordingly.

    I am encouraged by John 6 in this regard. The chapter begins with a huge miracle from Jesus and ends with "many" of Jesus' disciples "turning back and no longer walking with him". How discouraging that must have been! So Jesus tells his disciples, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." In other words, don't be discouraged - it's all going according to plan.

    So what is missing?

    Lots, I suppose. Perhaps one major thing that is missing is an appreciation for what the Good News (that Christ died and rose to give us life) really means to us - to every corner of our lives. We are missing integration of our relationship with Jesus into our work, play, family, home, neighborhood, social networking, etc. We should be able to start with any topic of conversation on earth and know how Jesus impacts that subject for us. Sharing Jesus in context of real life is so much more fun and interesting (for us and the hearers) than memorized sales pitches.

    There are lots of reasons for this lack of integration - not the least of which was the recasting of Christianity as a religious system, rather than a life-giving and life-changing relationship with God in Christ. But God allowed & authored even that part of history (His-story). It is all on track. No need to be discouraged. Just enjoy shining as light in the darkness. The darker the darkness, the brighter that light appears.

    Does it matter?

    It matters to me - and to anyone who has been or will be reborn in Christ. I enjoy and share the good news not out of guilty obligation, or because I think it will fix everything or everyone around me in this age - but because I love to. I can't imagine anything more enjoyable to experience or to share. That new desire and enjoyment comes from the new creation that I now am - the new, reborn me. And that, too, is going all according the Master's plan. 

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