A People from the Future: Ethiopia

“The gospels are consciously telling the story of how God’s one time action in Jesus the Messiah ushered in a new world order within which a new way of life was not only made possible but mandatory for Jesus’ followers.”

– NT Wright

Yesterday we visited Mission Ethiopia: Great Hope Church in Korah. The abject poverty that exists in Korah is overwhelming even to the most experienced international missionary. We had the opportunity to meet many of the women in that community as well as play with the children at the Great Hope school. Many of these kids would proudly show off their report card. Interestingly enough, their report cards were dated “2004;” that is,  Ethiopia follows a different calendar. A few laughs followed as we realized that we were, quite literally, a people from the future.

However, in a couple of days, we will return to Alabama and the calendar will again read 2012, yet we will still be a people from the future. Here is what that means…

The ultimate Christian hope is NOT that we will one day go to heaven but that heaven is one day coming to earth — God is in the process of establishing His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We as Christians know what that Kingdom is going to look like. Time after time we see Jesus teaching,
The Kingdom of God is like…
The Kingdom of God is like…
The Kingdom of God is like…
Our mission as followers of Jesus is to embody that Kingdom: to bring love where there is hatred; healing where there is sickness; peace where there is conflict; freedom where there is oppression. If we know what that Kingdom is going to look like and we know that God is in the process of establishing His Kingdom, then our mission is to make that future Kingdom a present reality no matter where we find ourselves.

The overflow of our heart should be, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We know what the future has in store, our job is to represent that future. Whether we are in Ethiopia or Montgomery, AL we are a people from the future.

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