'For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord….'

All good?

Hilariously, but also with great poignancy, I need to recount to you a recent exchange between a guest and one of our pastoral team on a Sunday at CCK.  Pastor: ‘Hello there, all good?’  Guest: ‘What, since the day of my birth? No, not really!’

Having had this repeated to me by the pastor in question, I began to appreciate it in a number of ways :

Firstly, for its comedic value…. which was priceless, and made even funnier because of who the pastor is (a chap of the finest quality!).  The quick-witted retort of the guest, the twinkle in the eye, and the flash of needle in the use of words, putting most TV sitcom writers to shame.

Secondly, the reality of life hits hard….  The humour of the moment (for me anyway) was only a thin veil over hard truth. You’re born, you live, you die.  ‘We are like grass that withers and dies…’  Here one moment, gone the next.  And the bit in between is tough going.  This guest had realised this the hard way.  ‘All good?  You must be kidding!’

Thirdly, the brutal honesty of the guest….  I love it when folk speak truth out loud!  We are always thinking it, but often speaking it through filters that utterly disguise it.  That’s why it’s so refreshing when people tell it how it is.  Brutal.  ‘All good?  No, actually my life has been rubbish for as long as I can remember.’ 

Fourthly, it gave me a sharp poke in the ribs about how we live in a seriously post-christian (or should I say ‘pagan’) culture with 90% of folk out there with no clue about Jesus, let alone the gospel!  If we (CCK) are to reach our prophetic promise of a church of thousands in this City, we cant afford to sell the gospel short by pretending that a response on a Sunday will result in a life of health and wealth.  Nope, it aint true.  Jesus said it himself.  ‘In this world you will have trouble…’ 

The more I get my teeth into pastoral work, the more understanding I get of the great weights folk are carrying through life.  Are these situations just, or unjust?  A good question to ask yourself.  Much of the ‘weight’ we carry is directly or indirectly as a result of our own poor choices.  But some of it is seemingly unjust, inflicted on us for reasons we cannot explain.  Sometimes we will never know why we suffered, but how we handle it hangs on our perspective of the character of God.  Who do we know Him to be?  Do we correctly understand our own ill-deserving nature? Are we fully aware of the far reaching mercy of God to rescue us?  Can we say we have fully lived within His design for life?  Are we clear in our understanding of the kingdom coming but not yet in fulness?  Do we see the cross of Christ as central to our wholeness?

So.  All good?  Only God is good.  Tough lives or otherwise, we are so quick to put ourselves where God deserves to be, yet He has put Himself where we deserve to be.  Amazing, humbling truth helps us to acknowledge that it is indeed (despite tough circumstances)……….ultimately all good.

1 Comment»

  Andy Cross wrote @

must have been ap

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