RELIGION COLUMN: The glory of Christ in the swing set

Published 11:35 am Monday, June 16, 2014

By Jake McCall

In his book “The Abolition of Man,” C.S. Lewis said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” This statement came from a man who was once an atheist but had been overcome with the truth of Christ.

As I’m writing this column I am looking out the window and the sun has begun to rise. Actually the sun is rising on the other side of my home and I don’t see a ray of sunlight. But I do clearly see some trees and a birdfeeder, a swing set and the blue sky above, and I am as confident as I can possibly be that the reason that I am seeing those things is because the sun has risen, though the risen sun is not currently what I see.

When Christianity becomes true to someone, then Christ is seen through the Bible. He is seen in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He is testified about in the letters of the New Testament. He is seen once again in the book of Revelation as the Apostle John tells us all about the King of kings that he has seen in the future. Even when reading the Old Testament, Christ and Christianity are on every page.

Once we really get to know him and once we really understand what he has done, overcome and will do, we begin to see everything by him. We see that the tree was made by him, and the tree’s strength and towering height reflect his glory and detail in creation. The birdfeeder is a picture of his kindness and provision for all creatures and is a testimony of his call to us to share in caring for that which he made. He even had the swing set in mind before the ages began to provide a way for children to laugh and try new things—things that he delights in. And as I look at the ongoing sky, I see that an infinite, eternal all-powerful creator has made that sky.

But I also see some other things: there are some dead limbs on this tree; this birdfeeder runs out of food; my children have gotten hurt numerous times as a result of that swing set and the sky often turns gray, sending down terrible and life-altering storms. Those and many other negative things could disrupt my view of Christianity, but when we really know the story, those negative things will enhance it. This is because those negative things are a reminder that our Lord is a redeemer that will one day restore this world, and through his grace and justice will make all things perfectly right. In the meantime, he will use those negative things for his purposes and our good. He will redeem that which we have brought corruption to. If it wasn’t for the risen sun, I would never see the glory of the tree, nor would I see the dying parts of it. By Jesus, we see all that is good, and by Jesus we see all that is to be done.

—Jake McCall is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. He is the pastor at Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church. His column appears each Thursday.