As the year ends…
As this year comes to a close and I look back over this year, a lot has happened so here are the highlights that hopefully I’ll expand on soon:
Calvin Elliot Gentry
What greater place to start than the growth of our family in Calvin. He was born on June 14th this past year and he’s a laid back, happy baby who doesn’t like to sleep, but loves to grab your face and smile. We name him Calvin after the theologian John Calvin and Elliott, after Jim Elliot, a missionary who was martyred while trying to take the gospel to the Auca Indians in South America.
As I think back about this year, the Lord has drastically expanded our understanding and our delight in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This has primarily occurred through dealing with the idea of Mercy Ministry, or ministry to the poor.
I have always seen the gospel as Creation (God made all things and they were good), Fall (We chose sin which disrupts our relationship with God, man, our self, and creation), Redemption (Christ came born of a Virgin, lived perfectly, was sacrificed for my sins to bring justice to God, resurrected to redeem our souls for eternal life in heaven). As I’ve looked at scripture, there is an aspect missing from that, the Gospel is all those things, but it is also Restoration or Renewal, which is where we are today, we are in the process of God making all things new (Rev. 21:5) and restoring all things under the reign of Christ Kingdom (Eph. 1).
The implications of this are many, but one giant one is that we are called to take part in Restoring all things to Christ’s reign and we will be judged by whether our understanding of the gospel leads us to participate in reconciling brokenness. This means ministry to the poor, feeding the hungry, caring for the outcast and immigrant are all as much a part of the gospel as a bible study. I have much to say on this that will come at another time.
The Gospel, Part 2 – simul iustus et peccator
This phrase has simply blown me away for the last 6 months. First of all, it’s in latin which makes everything cooler. But it means simultaneously saint and sinner, or simultaneously sinful, yet fully accepted. The sentence “We are far more wicked than we would ever dare believe, but at the same time more accepted than we ever dared hope” has really allowed me to enjoy the gospel and live out of joy instead of duty.
To think that when I sin, I don’t have to work it off like the prodigal son begs his dad to be able to do (Luke 15), and to be humbled by the reality that my sin is worse than I ever want to truly acknowledge, but that explains the need for the cross and the need for faith that Christ’s work is truly sufficient to satisfy a Holy God’s wrath against sin so that fellowship can be restored. Much more to say on this as well at a later date.
A new job
Back in August I started a new job. I’m still working as a Civil Engineer designing roads, but now I’m doing it for a different company and am enjoying it. I’m designing a lot of roads here in Austin that I will get to see built so that will be interesting. I won’t tell you which ones just in case they end terribly…
This is the first half. I’ll post more tomorrow…