Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

John Santic on The Good News

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

This entry is a part of an on-going blog series called The Good News, which is taking place throughout the Easter Season, from Easter to Pentecost. A full list of the contributors can be found here. John’s local newspaper is the the Vancouver Sun. Here is John Santic on the Good News.

THE GOOD NEWS

What is there to look forward to?

If you survey the world’s political, social, and economic situations of our day, the outlook appears dismal. There is much to discourage the most optimistic face when we see the global ethos of power move in a direction as barbaric as the dark ages behind us. As a global story, one might say the world is increasingly competitive and violent. This spirit is lived out in a personal, national, and global level and although there is absence of war (in some places) that does not mean there is peace. There is a facade of peace girded by nuclear might and bound in an ever increasing cycle of self power preservation. What, in this story, is there to look forward to?

2000 years ago history changed course. The man Jesus arrived on the scene preaching a peace that runs deeper than the absence of war; a peace marked by total well being for mankind and friendship with God. There were eye witness accounts of how this peasant singlehandedly turned the Empire of his time, the Pax Romana, upside down. Not only did he preach peace, he spoke of a new type of government, greater than any earthly political system. He spoke of the Kingdom of God. He announced it with miraculous works and gathered a nucleus of people to carry on his actions. But he was killed…killed because his compassion and love criticized the religious and political empire. He embraced the crucifixion the world threw at him and did not resist so as to not compromise his message of love. They couldn’t handle the peace he offered because it exposed the brutality of humanity gone awry. But that didn’t hold him back. Something wonderful happened. Jesus rose from the dead….pass it on.

Jesus embodies the truth first whispered at the beginning of time. It’s the truth about what it means to be human. It’s different from the dehumanizing narrative of power and control dominating us and every empire past. It’s the truth about how all creation is good. Mankind created to relate freely in order for love between God and humans to be true. True Love risked rejection and gave us our own wills in order for love to be reciprocated. But we turned away because we thought we knew best and exchanged life for an illusion that we could be like God. We turned and cursed ourselves and every subsequent generation to eventual death. We need to be saved.

The story goes that Jesus is God, a king, who invaded this world and died for his subjects to demonstrate immeasurable grace and institute his restorative Kingdom. He died and rose again so all of creation could be renovated and governed by his justice, reign, and peace, no longer subject to death, but with him in eternal right relationship. All this because he loves us beyond our comprehension. His love invites all to come and be part of his people that embody God’s peace in order to share it with the world toward the healing of all things. God is shaking people free from sin and calling them to participate in His saving of the world. This adventure is something worth jumping into and the future result is something definitely to look forward to! Are you in?

John Santic is a husband, father, software sales professional, and blogger. He grew up in the East End of Vancouver and was very familiar with life on the wrong side of the tracks, until 10 years ago when he heard the invitation to follow Jesus. He has since made several steps forward and some back trying to figure out what being faithful to the call of Christ means. John is studying in his spare time toward a degree in Pastoral Ministry from Carey Theological College and is passionate about communicating God’s dream of restoration. He is married to Christiene and they have three wonderful kids that keep them busy. You can find John’s Writing online at his blog Toward Hope.


7 Responses to John Santic on The Good News

  1. jrwoodward says:

    John,

    Thanks for the breadth that your entry brings. I love your phrase “Jesus embodied the truth first whispered at the beginning of time. It’s the truth about what it means to be human.” Thanks for painting a picture of what life is meant to be like moving away from behaviors that dehumanize.

  2. Dustin James says:

    John, your words cause me to feel like there’s something going on that I need to participate in and that I’d miss out on if I wasn’t careful. The way you describe the story makes it seem simple. Jesus rose from the grave – fact. Pass it on – simple. Come join the adventure – okay! The end of the Jesus story will be worth waiting for!

  3. John Santic says:

    @jr – thanks JR. I have always been struck by the humanity of Jesus as the hope of everything we long for and desire to be like. Also, the whole idea of engaging the powers and how Jesus did that has caught me…i feel like there is often a disconnect in the west in this regard and long to experience this type of engagement in our culture.

    @dustin – thanks for your comment. it has to be simple for me :)

  4. Sonja says:

    John,
    After finished reading your post about the good news of ‘what is there to look forward to’ it was like i watched an arrow flying purposedly through the air on its way straight forwards to not MISSED its goal.The ‘power’ and the human behind the bow seemed to play an exclusively part in the training process.

    Especially you caught my attention at the 2-nd paragraph:
    “A peace that runs deeper than the absence of war
    A peace marked by total well being for mankind and friendship with God
    A new type of government’ transformable ‘as the kingdom of God,
    He was killed,because of His compassion and love critizised the religious and political empire..
    He embraced the crucification the world threw at Him and did not resist so as to not COMPROMISE His message of Love
    They could not handle the peace He offered,because it EXPOSED the brutality of humanity gone awry, BUT THAT DIDN”T HOLD HIM BACK”

    What would it look like to’ compromise His message of love’ as lived in a world like today to you?

  5. Daniel Eng says:

    i thought … i would give a shot at that …

    What would it look like to’ compromise His message of love’ as lived in a world like today to you?
    – self-centered (it’ll be about how to make ourselves feel better, even in our action of charity)
    – un-offensive relative truth (where we are not concerned about the souls of our neighbors because it’s their right to believe whatever they want – even to the detriment of their souls)
    – superficial peace – as mentioned in the post … very fragile peace (absence of war) that will be broken easily ..
    – hypocrisy – again … this might be related to self-centered ness … where our actions / charity are not out of the deep love for/from Him, rather our actions to make ourselves feel better ..

    those are some of my thoughts …

  6. John Santic says:

    @sonja – great question…

    @Daniel – i like your answers.

    for me compromising the message of loves today happens in all the ways Daniel mentioned and then some. I think today we have this notion of rights and entitlement in our culture and that leads to all sorts of self exertion over others. we are quick to call for a foul or penalty when we are wronged. We think our way of western life is normal, yet we are in the top 5% of the world. Our sense of entitlement usually leads to a deep injustice that is in reality a compromise of the message of Jesus. In many ways the church needs to take a prophetic stance against the injustice that occurs withing capitalism without finding herself caught up in the cycle of it. just some rambling…

  7. Sonja says:

    Thank u Daniel for sharing your thoughts to gain more insight on the question
    John I can see the point you are making about ‘our sense of entitlement usually leads to a deep injustice’
    What are some ways to protect ‘the body’ to not give in and compromise and keep walking on the path leading towards justice?

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