It is a radical belief; one that calls us to forsake all and follow God with a whole heart, withholding nothing, accepting God fully, loving radically, forgiving radically, hoping radically, accepting radically. I'm not saying we can just jump right to this point, but if God is God and if Christ's sacrifice actually does what God says it does, then don't we have to have this at least have this as a point to ponder, a light on the horizon, no matter now distant from where we are today?
Maybe today this is just too big an idea to even imagine. But I think we have to at least try to chew on the edges, because that is the very thing that can drive us to seek the Spirit of God for discernment and instruction and empowerment to think bigger thoughts, consider bigger possibilities, explore ideas so amazing that the culture of our times (in fact the cultures of all times) thinks it is outrageous and foolish.
This is why those who are serous about following the person and teachings of Christ can never sanely keep one foot in the World and the other in the Kingdom. It is just like trying to be both hot and cold or being wise and foolish or being hopeful and disparaging in the same instant. We may vacillate between extremes but we can't hold fast to both positions at the same time and withstand the strain. Love drives out fear. Fear denies Love. What we cling to will be our god.
And if God is all that Paul insists God is, then what do we have to fear? Is God All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Always Everywhere Present, Trustworthy, the Father who created us in His Own Image and calls us to claim our heritage as God's beloved and treasured child? God can help us. God promises to help us. God perseveres in standing ready to help us. God offers peace, hope, purpose and all intrinsically good things; we claim these things when we offer God our loyalty, our praise, our trust, our brokenness according to God's covenant.
What will you cling to today?