[by Luc Salsac, Director for the French-speaking ministries]
Human history in this world begins and ends with a tree, the tree of life. We find it at the very beginning of the Bible (Genesis 2 v.9), in the middle of the Garden of Eden; and then all access is barred to it following the disobedience of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3 v.22-24) We find it again in the last chapter of the Scriptures (Revelation 22), in the middle of the City of God, this time accessible to all who’ve put their faith in Jesus.
In this ‘in between’ stage, God remains the source of life, and His plan for humanity hasn’t changed. We read in the Scriptures that He invites us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30 v.19-20). Jesus, God Incarnate, tells us that whoever believes in Him has eternal life (John 6 v.40), that He came to bring us life, life in all its fullness (John 10 v.10), that He is Himself ‘the way, the truth and the life’ (John 14 v.6). Yes, in God is ‘the source of all life’ (1 Timothy 6 v.13).
But in this ‘in between’ stage, there exists also another tree, the one that was cut down and made into a cross – the cross on which Jesus gave His life in order to forgive us, to restore our broken relationship with the Father, and to give us eternal life. On the wood of that cross, Jesus changed the whole course of human history. Those who truly give themselves to Him He causes to be born again to a certain hope; He makes them His brothers and sisters; He invites them to live a new kind of life, “a life of love” (Ephesians 5 v.2). This is a life that’s willing to give itself up in order to serve Him and to speak of Him. At Easter we remember that God loved us so much that He paid the price of our sin Himself. In Christ, He causes us to experience a resurrection that should transform us, and turn our lives upside down. It’s this resurrection that will in the end, allow us to eat freely from the tree of life.
For us, the resurrection of Jesus shouldn’t just be something that happened in the past, but a daily reality. The one who’s renewed all things wants to continue renewing us so that His life can overflow into our lives. May we be filled with this life and share it with others wherever we are!
So if our Mission’s been spending these last months reflecting on a renewed vision, it’s all in order to communicate this message of life in a way that’s more relevant to our contemporary world. Even if we’re about to celebrate our centenary, we don’t just want to remember the ‘good old days’: we want to look ahead, to step out of our daily routines, out of our comfort zones, so we can live and spread abroad this message of life. Thank you for your prayers and your support.