Invited to Participate
A mighty River flows throughout history toward the healing and restoration of all things. If you have read the Bible, you know how the story ends: love conquers death, a new heaven and earth are established, and the God of love and justice finally puts all things to rights. Our Creator is carrying every corner of creation into a beautiful future.
Jesus didn’t merely invite us to believe about the River. He didn’t say, “Here is the truth. Believe me.” He declared, “I am the truth. Follow me.” Beliefs are important, but they’re not nearly enough. The invitation is to wade into the River and swim.
This really is good news. Swimming with Christ is the way to embrace the truth of the abundant life that Jesus taught about. And the Eternal Current will carry us into the joy of getting swept up in God’s work of redeeming and restoring all things.
Yet so many of us miss the invitation. We concentrate on perfecting our beliefs but never step into the water. Or we decide to swim but get stuck in the comfort and safety of the shallows.
Friend, I missed this invitation for years. I believed Christian ideas, prayed Christian prayers, and attended Christian events, but I never learned to swim with Christ in the River of God. Though I had been a Christian since a child, I missed out on the passion, meaning, peace, and power of eternal life. I traded the richness of swimming in the River for the dry riverbank of religion.
But Christ keeps inviting me (and you) back into the Eternal Current for the sake of the world. It is pure gift, but it is not passive. God is already working in every corner of the earth and in every molecule of our lives. As we follow Christ, we get to participate in that eternally flowing good work through practices that allow God’s Spirit to do what only God can do. Grace alone makes the River flow, but we need to wade into the water. Grace alone makes the vine grow, but we need to build the trellis. Grace alone makes the wind blow, but spiritual practices help us humbly open the window, day by day, moment by moment. The invitation is participation.
In what ways do you tend to focus on your belief in God rather than your participation with God?