It would be fascinating to see the world from space. Imagine the blue of the oceans and dance of the clouds as they envelope parts of the globe. By the depth of blue, you could differentiate the shallow from the deep in the seas. The green and earthen tones of land masses form distinct shapes against the azure backdrop—a great reversal from watching clouds morph into a bird or the face of Uncle Festus including his lush eyebrows. Like a young boy, the mountains from such a distance would likely lie about their true height. The polar caps would seem the purest of whites, cold and quiet. Even destructive forces such as typhoons would appear as wispy flowers, blooming their slow rotating power, though hiding the torrent that lies beneath. What about when the sun fades? The lights of the dense populations afire, breathing with the light of humanity like an organism pulsing its bioluminescence, ever connected and always on. Now zoom in. Today a baby girl will be born to a loving couple in one city, while in the hospital down the road, a mother will die of lymphoma leaving her husband and three young children mourning. In another city, a stranger will buy a sandwich for a homeless person and share a meal with him, but three hours later another complete stranger will shoot a man in the face for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. In a town to the north of you, a young woman will receive her first real job, only to find out two months later that her manager is a sleazy creep who hired her in the hopes of a sexual rendezvous, and that her company is selling dangerous products to the elderly. New life, death, grace, violence, and institutional evil all exist in the “world.” Many have taken these words of John and misused them, loading them with a polarizing force. The definition of “world” when not considered in context can be extended too far, creating a reactionary devaluation of much of God’s good creation, reducing it to an evil to be feared and avoided. Throughout history many Christians have chosen to separate, avoid, even hide from the “world,” but is this “bomb shelter mentality” healthy? From this word for “world” we get our word “cosmos” and it can have several shades of meaning in the Bible, but what does it mean here?
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Kevin Kurzenknabe is the Discipleship Pastor and an Elder at SVCC. Before coming on staff in 2016, he had been working with SVCC for years while working his normal career. His passion is to challenge people into living out the Gospel. He has lived in Gilroy for over 16 years with Michelle, his wife of over 20 years, and his two children.