I bought this N.T. Wright book just last Friday. Paul recommended me to read it on my plane ride to Hong Kong. I picked it up last Friday at Chapters. I then logged on to the ratanakmissions blog and to my utter surprise, I came across one of the prayer letters in which the title of the book is quoted and that the books is in fact now being read by one of the mission teammates. One of the recent passage I read is 1 Corin 15 :
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord in not in vain.”
My heart resonates what he wrote there :
“For Apostle Paul, this section of the letter to the Corinthians is his longest and most dense discourse on the resurrection of the dead. He starts with the resurrection of Jesus. He moves forward to a promise and a hope for those who have faith in Christ – they too will participate in the resurrection of the dead and they will witness the destruction of their arch-enemy, death. “Therefore” he concludes, in the light of this great promise continue in steadfastness doing the work of the Lord. Why? Because in the Lord your labour is not in vain – empty, worthless. In the transition from life to death to the resurrection of the dead nothing of worth is lost. The work of the Lord done today will be preserved for the future. This is without doubt a message of hope.
And what is the work of the Lord? As we bear witness in words and deeds, in the power of the Spirit, to the reality that Jesus is both Christ the King and Lord of all creation, we do the work of the Lord.”
That has everything to do with what my Paul and I have been praying for to immerse ourselves in the work involving Cambodia and everything in it. We will be Christ’s ambassadors, ministers of reconciliation. We will do the work of the Lord. We will take with us the Spirit who dwells in us and the gifts in us according to the needs of the moment. We will walk the path that has been marked out for us before we were born. (Eph 2:10)
By thinking of where we will be and what we will do in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 50 years of time, in spite of the immensity of the task and its deep roots, I am once again quoting the prayer letter and that also speaks of what is inside my heart, “we will not end the scourge of child sex slavery in Cambodia. But the work we do will not be in vain. It will produce a harvest. We do not know when, but we do know it will happen.”
Because we are empowered by His Spirit.
Because we are charged with transforming the present as far as we are able, in light of that future.