Many of you know that I have had the privilege of serving on the planning team for the FLY Beyond youth conference. This is the conference that the
AFLC holds on the years when there is no FLY Convention. It takes place at the Association Retreat Center (ARC) near Osceola, WI. As I write this article, I look forward to being part of the conference this next week. I will be bringing my family and a few students from United Lutheran’s youth group.
The theme for FLY Beyond this year is “Mysterious Hope” based on Colossians 1:27-29. I was asked to speak for the first evening service, so I have spent a lot of time thinking about the theme. It is so applicable to the unrest and the panic that we see in our world today. I want to briefly share with you three reasons that hope in Christ can be described as mysterious.
1. It Wasn’t Known – Colossians 1:6 describes, “the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.”[i] Right after Adam and Eve sinned, God promised that He would send a Savior to restore their broken relationship with Him.[ii] Throughout the Old Testament, He continued to promise that this Savior would come, but He didn’t explain all the details. It was a “mystery hidden for ages and generations.” When Christ came to earth, the mystery was revealed. He was the promised Savior! Through His death and resurrection, He suffered the punishment for our sins and won eternal life for us. He restored our relationship with God, our Creator.
2. It Isn’t Known – This mysterious hope has been revealed to “his saints,” those of us who believe in Christ as our Savior. However, there are billions of people in our world who do not know the hope that Christ brings. It isn’t known to them. True hope continues to be a mystery to them. When we remember this, the chaos in our world makes a lot more sense. Hopeless people will look in all kinds of wrong places for hope. The result is emptiness, pain, anger, despair, greed, violence, etc. As Christians, we should have compassion on these people, knowing that they need the mysterious hope that Christ has given us.
3. It Isn’t Fully Known – As Christians, we know the hope Christ has given us, but you could say that we don’t fully know it. We can’t get our minds around how wonderful it is. Throughout our lives, God shows us more and more how great this hope is. He shows us more and more how Christ gives us meaning, purpose, identity and significance. He shows us more and more sin in our lives, so that we see more and more what a beautiful savior Christ is.
I pray that you will know more and more “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).