Millions of people today live their lives in fragments. One experience or one moment is episodic, detached from a greater whole. The result of this meandering is a culture where neurosis is epidemic. Drugs, alcohol and a thousand other diversions are used to mask the sense of life’s ultimate meaninglessness. What does the Christian faith have to say to these who in one way or another are debilitated by this crisis of hopelessness?
When Jesus spoke of the integrating power of God, He spoke of the Kingdom of God, which is better translated, The ‘Rule’ or ‘Reign’ of God’. ‘ “The Kingdom of God has come near you,” He proclaimed. In Jesus Christ God has addressed the cognitive dissonance of meaning by reaffirming His gracious and determined commitment to the world. Years later, as Paul reflected on the faith, he came to see the Cross, the Crucified Christ as that great, integrating moment when all the fragments of this life were gathered up in God’s all-embracing mercy and grace.
If the Church is going to be a faithful witness to the Gospel in this time, we cannot afford to meet this crisis with indifference. We dare not close the blinds. What God has united on the Cross we have no right to separate. Which is to say, since Christ has died for all, all people are our concern. The mandate is simple. We are called to proclaim the reconciliation that is in Jesus and with some joy, too.
So whether in dialogue with the lost wanderer or the self-satisfied secularist, our goal is the same: to bear witness in all humanity and humility to that power of God, unleashed in the Gospel of Jesus the crucified One, that the world might believe, and in believing find reconciliation, coherence and purpose in Him.