“2020 is going to be infamous for centuries to come. People are going to use it in sentences like, “My week started great and then it went all 2020 on me.”
Our world appears to be falling apart on multiple levels. And it just keeps going. But maybe that’s a good thing.
I feel like 2020 is exposing humanity’s need of the gospel like never before. We are broken. The world is broken. We cannot fix this alone no matter how hard we try. We need a Savior.”@christylynnewood
I originally wrote this on my Instagram a few weeks ago. I knew that it would eventually become a blog post. I am increasingly convinced that this year — that appears like it came from hell — actually came from a loving God who is tenderly calling His children home.
2020 is preaching us the gospel.
This year has wrecked me. Exposed me (and not just to COVID). And made me question what I believe. Anyone else feel like this? I think it’s a gift.
Because we can’t be found until we realize that we are lost. We can’t be saved until we believe we are sinking. When life is good it’s easy to get lost in our comfortable, busy, distractible lives. But strip us down to nothing…leave us naked and alone…and suddenly we see that all the pretty baubles are just cheap plastic. We were made for more than this broken world.
The disconnect we feel — the sense that something isn’t right — that’s the Holy Spirit whispering the truth to our heart. We were created by an incredible Living Presence for relationship with Him in a perfect world.
But it’s all broken now. 2020 has made that abundantly clear.
There are worldviews that teach the idea that people are basically good and it’s just their environments that cause them to do bad things. People with this mindset are passionate about fixing the brokenness in our world through social justice. The goal is to liberate oppressed people so that they can become good.
It sounds nice, but Scripture is pretty clear that it takes more than a clean, healthy, and prosperous environment to make broken people good.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 (Net Bible).
2020 has put our sin on display. Selfishness, pride, love of power, lies, hoarding: it’s everywhere, among every walk of life. There aren’t any good people, just broken ones. Sure, we all have the potential for goodness because we were created in the image of a very good God. But that innate goodness has also been corrupted by sin. On our own we are hopelessly lost.
The brokenness caused by sin extends into nature itself and so we have natural disasters and disease. The world really is falling apart.
"For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together..." Romans 8:22 (Net Bible).
If we cannot fix this mess by ourselves — the mess that is 2020 — then what do we do? We turn to the only One who saves. To the One who loves broken, messed up people. To the One who is in the business of restoration. Jesus Christ.
Contrary to the teachings of religious Christianity, God isn’t looking for good people. He doesn’t need us to fix anything or get it all together. We just come broken to the foot of the cross. The cross where a perfect God lovingly took the punishment for the sins of a screwed-up world.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us, in while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8 (Net Bible).
This core truth of Christianity is offensive on many levels. God requires punishment for sins? People deserve death? Death was necessary for salvation? That’s all so violent. It’s not nice.
No, it’s not.
But in His love God took all that offense on Himself, all the shame, and all the punishment. And He offers humanity love, forgiveness, and restoration in return. How is it possible that God would do everything for us and require nothing from us? How can He give salvation as a free gift to anyone who will accept it? Because He is God and giving scandalous grace is what He does.
I originally wrote this post to get my thoughts together for a video I recorded for Facebook. The blog is much less dramatic and more put together than the video (where three neighbors are mowing their lawns, bugs are biting me, and a hammock attacks me twice). But if you’d like to watch the video you can find it here.
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