Cape of Good Hope
One of the southernmost places in South Africa is Cape Town. The old Dutch sailors in the 16th century, when going from the Atlantic into the Indian Ocean, coined the phrase Cape of Good Hope (actually a spot somewhat more to the east). I like the expression, and would use it to share with you the good hope I have while looking forward to the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism. One of the central metaphors of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians – the biblical topic during the congress – is to be found in 3:18, where we read about the heighth, breadth, depth and length of God’s purposes. One could well use this as an equivalent for the Congress’ motto: The whole gospel, through the whole Church, for the whole world. Let me use this 4D metaphor to give you a personal glimpse into my heart’s desire for Cape Town 2010. What is a small, already somewhat older guy like me looking for while travelling to the other side of the world? Biggest desire: finding in Cape Town the Most High One, my Lord, whom I so often try to find and do find in expected and unexpected places. He will be there, as I pray, to manifest Himself to all of us. Breadth: this Congress is an opportunity to be together ‘with all saints’ – well, not all of them, but at least some 4500 from nearly all countries and nations. Depth: I am looking forward, actually, to a head-on confrontation with the misery and suffering of this world, and the people living therein. I don’t imagine to be doing in the last decades of my life something completely different from what I did so far in Christian media, but honestly: I feel quite a bit ashamed for so much of hanging out rather passively in this wealthy western world of ours. Length, then – though exegetically not quite correct, probably, let me apply this to the South-North distance. This is what matters most to me: what will happen in Cape Town is of vital interest for all Christians in my own country, the Netherlands, and I want to bring it to the hearts of many of them. My book TOTAL CHRISTIANITY, which I hope to write before and during the Lausanne Congress, is a meant to be a main channel for this. Indeed in my blogs I am already doing something into this direction. Here’s the core of what I am stretching forward to. Great expectations. Cape of Good Hope.
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