Wipe Every Tear

They say that if you want to be successful with a project, you ought to begin with the end in mind. This has proven to me to be good advice, as I am one who typically picks up a hammer and nail and dives into a project without so much as thinking about the directions, let alone read them. Typically this leads to hurt fingers, curse words, and tremendous frustration, as I will have to undo 30 steps to get to a place where I can move forward. Anyone who has assembled Ikea furniture knows exactly what I mean.

So I've been wondering, what is the end of our mission and outreach project as Christians? What goal are we working toward, and what's the best method for getting there? Near the end of the scriptures, I think we discover an answer:

he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.

(Revelation 21:4)

So if the end is a world without tears, a world without mourning and crying and pain, and a world free from death, would our mission not be to rid the world of such things now? Wouldn't mission look a lot like trying to remove from the world the causes of pain? Trying to remove from the world the things that feel like death?

There's a song we sing at the Bridge that hits me hard every time we lift it up. At the Bridge, this kind of big crescendo in the song, we sing "Break my heart for what breaks yours." I think this is what we're talking about. To look at the world and see all the things which break God's heart, and to allow them to break ours.

That allowance is important. It's pretty easy for me to insulate myself from the things that break God's heart. It's pretty easy for me to isolate myself from the rest of the world, and move along like there's nothing to worry about. Part of wiping away every tear is knowing where to look for the tears in the first place, and that requires a certain level of opening ourselves up.

It's also important to remind ourselves that this tear wiping is actually God's work, and that we get to participate in it. Having our heart break for what breaks God's could actually be too much weight to bare if we feel like we're the ones to have to do all the lifting. But we remember that Christ is at work in the broken places in the world, and that he's inviting us to jump in with him.

I'll be honest, the end looks pretty sweet. And it's even better that we get to participate in bringing the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. So let's dive in together, shall we?

blog comments powered by Disqus