Friday, December 07, 2007

Turning a Corner to Paradise: An Advent Lesson

By John Mark Reynolds@

Advent remembers and anticipates two appearances of Christ. First, we recall his Incarnation when the Word became Flesh. Second, we look forward to his Second Coming when He will come as King to rule on the Earth.

Mary and Joseph went on a weary journey and suddenly Bethlehem was not just a little town anymore.

They turned a corner and Paradise came down.

Someday, perhaps soon, we will turn a corner and the trumpet will sound, the dead will rise, and Christ will return.

We will turn a corner and Paradise will come down.

Mongolia is not Los Angeles, but it was a classroom for me about this reality.

A group of about twenty Torrey Honors students and my family went at the invitation of Campus Crusade and the Mongolian government to do a series of meetings in the schools. Watching my students respond, mostly without complaint, to difficult circumstances showed their quality. Having a chance to share the gospel with them, seeing what we had learned in the classroom matter in eternity, revealed what we had done well in Torrey and what we could do better.

Most of all I remember seeing an upperclassman, Angela Good, come into her own. She loved missions, education, and great conversations and we were involved in all three. We were all moved by teachers forced to do great work with poor resources.

Angie came home and began a Torrey project to send school supplies to those teachers. It was one of her last acts. She would graduate to a greater school that fall following a car accident.

From the moment I got what my family now simply calls “the call,” I have seldom forgotten that what we do is not the only thing that impacts eternity. We are, all of us, just one step from the eternal Kingdom. I have never forgotten Angie and I have never forgotten the truth that any one of us might turn a corner and find ourselves with Christ in Paradise.

What have you done about it?

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