Canadian art films were, once upon a time, notorious for ending mysteriously, with no resolution to the storyline. They left the viewer in disbelief that two hours had been ‘invested’ only to get stung with a non-ending, with the challenge of filling in the blanks, the missing dialogue, the satisfying wrap-up. They also prompted (in me, at least) a ‘never again’ reaction. Now, I like to think I’m spontaneous, enjoying unpredictable free flow through my days, but my dear wife just shakes her head knowingly. While it is somewhat painful to confess, I might possibly relish a wee measure of predictability. So, one of my (our) guilty pleasures is watching a British TV show, called Grand Designs. Every episode showcases a homeowner wanting to build the most improbably designed house on the most forbidding piece of property, with the most inadequate of budgets (I know, how do you say predictable!?). The pleasure part comes at the end, when the adventure is magnificently finished, impeccably furnished, and open for a lavish party. The show’s host is a real curmudgeon, a grousing naysayer, mildly berating the homeowner throughout the entire process and delivering dire prophecies such as financial ruin, but in the end, is forced to congratulate the grit and determination and to marvel at the edifice now proudly standing against all odds. As the closing measures of the show’s theme music plays behind the rolling credits, I know of one couple who smiles in deepest satisfaction at another (predictably) happy outcome just witnessed.
God, too, I believe, is into His own kind of predictability. In fact, the entirety of His Creation is set to be lovingly ‘resolved’ in His perfect, mysterious, timing, according to His every detail (Just one wrapping up example: Jesus came as the fulfillment of OT Messianic prophecies, and the fulfillment of the Law). There is another mysterious and divinely orchestrated, completing event which we celebrate this weekend; the sending/arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Pentecost ‘event’ is the provision of the final element needed for the Father’s Plan to be carried out to His satisfaction. Admittedly, plenty of mystery remains (for us) in what has been called the ‘Now and the Not Yet’ of the Kingdom, but following Pentecost, now fully equipped disciples are called to give themselves, in total surrender, to living out the mission of extending the Kingdom of God to every tribe, every tongue, every nation. You know, just like Jesus said to his disciples: “ . . . wherever you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, until the completion of this age.” Matthew 28:19,20, TPT. Y’all, we are they. More about this tomorrow, 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM. PD