There are two ways to look at this universe we’re stuck in. One is to see it as vastly sinister, mocking our desires. The other is to see it as exploding with love, inviting our trust. If the first is true, we should rage at everything, especially the (apparently) positive things. If the second is true, we can never despair, no matter what happens.
In her book The Death of Adam, page 78, Marilynne Robinson sees the first outlook in the cynicism of our times:
“When a good man or woman stumbles, we say, ‘I knew it all along,’ and when a bad one has a gracious moment, we sneer at the hypocrisy. It is as if there is nothing to mourn or admire, only a hidden narrative now and then apparent through the false, surface narrative. And the hidden narrative, because it is ugly and sinister, is therefore true.”
The apostle John shows us another way to see reality: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
For God — the ultimate explanation
so loved — the open secret of our real lives
the world — a wretched evil, defiling every one of us
that he gave — the unthinkable sacrifice
his only Son — the unique, pure, worthy One
that whoever — startling openness to all
believes — simple trust, and no more will be required later
in him — a new focus for our lives
should not perish — the destruction we deserve
but — a surprising reversal
have — personal possession on terms of grace
eternal life — a deluge of joy forever.
The gospel is a clear alternative. And the gospel, because it is true, will write the final chapter of our lives, if we will see it.
in a blog post: here