In Touch January 14, 2011
Posted on January 14, 2011 by under Touché,

Hope for Our World

“Everybody’s going to be O.K., she would want that.” (John Green)

Christina Taylor-Green’s father spoke those words at her funeral in Tucson on Thursday.  A simple statement of faith coming from the pulpit of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church that is deeply profound.  It amazes me that a father could speak at all so close to the death of his daughter, but to speak words of hope that are at the center of the Gospel is even more amazing in the face of such tragedy.

Paul writes in Romans 8: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” My paraphrase of Romans 8 is: “someday, someway, it is going to be O.K. because of him.” So, when I heard the words of a grieving father, I could identify with his hope and his confession.

The Christian view of the world reduces to a simple formula, says Phil Yancey as he spoke to Virginia Tech students after the massacre there.  The world is good.  The world is fallen.  The world will be redeemed.

You know the world is good.  In the life of little Christina, president of the student council, second basewoman for the Pirates, bright-eyed and hopeful, we have no doubt that the world is good.  See it in your children, or in a crisp, clear night, stars reflecting off of new fallen snow, or in discussion of deep truths with a bunch of guys in an early morning ChristCare group.  The world is good.

You know the world is fallen.  In an instant that changes the lives of so many, one crazed gunman decides to fire and the pain of a second becomes a defining moment for another generation of kids.  A young girl born on September 11, 2001 dies in another defining moment of terror.  The world is fallen.

You trust the world will be redeemed.  I am sure that front and center in the church where Christiana’s funeral was held, our President, politicians, parents and regular people looked up at a cross with a man nailed to it; the worst tragedy that could be imagined; a memory of the darkest day in history.  The original Black Friday, but followers of Christ have put another name on that day, Good Friday, because the worst that a fallen world could dish out became a day of redemption for the whole world.  It was a foretaste of the promise from our God, who says I am making all things new. The world will be redeemed.

Live with the hope that Christina would want.  That is the hope that He would want.  We are going to be O.K.  Thanks be to God.

In Hope,