Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

John Chandler on The Good News

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

This entry is a part of an on-going blog series called The Good News, which is taking place throughout the Easter Season, from Easter to Pentecost. A full list of the contributors can be found here. John’s local city newspaper is the Austin American-Statesman. Here is John Chandler on the Good News.

The question of Good News is an acknowledgement that not all is well. It is a question of longing, of ache, that in all of the brokenness, we might grab hold of something better. It is a question of whether faith, hope, and love exist, and whether or not longing for them is worth the trouble.

I say it is.

Good news begins with a grasp of faith, peering backward and trusting that a loving God has been at work in the world. It means going back to the beginning and affirming that this God of love sang this world into being. GK Chesterton wrote: “the whole difference between construction and creation – is that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”1 We begin by understanding that a loving God put this world into motion, put breath into our lungs.

But with that, we hold the tension that this good creation of a loving God isn’t working as it should. Somewhere along the way, things went wrong. Just as we trust that a loving God created all, we also hope that this loving God is not finished. And God is not finished. God is repairing. God is re-creating. God is restoring. We look forward to the time when this work will be complete. All will be made new. A new heaven and a new earth will come together, and God will once again dwell among the people.2

We look back with faith, and forward with hope. But in the present, we look for God’s presence. God’s love is not limited to the creative work of the past, or in promises of what is to come. God’s hands are all over creation and the role of the church is to participate with God as a loving presence in the world – to put Good News on display. We see how sin has corrupted both individuals and the structures of society; each of us is a broken reflection of who God made us to be, as is the space that exists between us.

But even in that broken state, God invites us to partner in this grand project of repair. We repent that we have turned away from God. We labor to restore broken souls and relationships to what God intended for humanity. We lovingly announce God’s ongoing work in the world. We work for justice to mend the tattered fabric of our cultures.

1As quoted by Cornelius Plantinga in Engaging God’s World, page 22.
2Revelation 20:3

John Chandler is a husband, a father of three, and the pastor of Austin Mustard Seed, a church start-up in Austin. He helps pay the bills as a freelance designer and blogs at Some Strange Ideas. He is a graduate of Mars Hill Grad School and Hope International University, but he still thinks some of the most important theology he ever learned came from Dr. Seuss.

12 Responses to John Chandler on The Good News

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