Robin Hood and the Restoration of the KingdomBrook Hills Contributor
Brook Hills sent out over 20 Mid-Term missionaries this summer. These are people who will serve 2 months to 2 years in a different context around the world. Patric is one of our Mid-Term missionaries to Central Asia. He will spend a little over 2 months teaching English at a local university among an unreached people group. Due to high security, we will not disclose Patric’s specific location but he will blog for the next 2 months to let us in on his experiences in sharing the gospel and working with an unreached people. Let us pray for him and his team as they make disciples of all nations.
posted by Patric B.
Quite Frankly it can be almost humorous at times how and from where Gospel conversations can blossom. Sometimes they come from seemingly no where like an unexpected August shower. And also much like August showers, these unforeseen conversations also help serve to water the thirsty lands parched by a long summer, so that life may return to the soil and beautiful fruit may be able to grow. This is our prayer. We pray that we may have more and more of these life-giving conversations that are drenched in the Living Water so that these of this land, who are spiritually thirsty, may be able to drink deeply of the water welling up to eternal life.
However, how we get to these life-giving conversations is another story. Maybe they will come through talking about family. Maybe they will come through talking about culture. It may come through talking about the idea of forgiveness, or it may even come through talking about the story of Robin Hood.
You may be thinking, how can this be? How can you get to the Gospel talking about the world's first, tight-wearing socialist, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor? Well as our pastor often says, "I'm glad you asked." As JRR Tolkien once mentioned, every great story, if really broken down, normally patterns themes that are emphasized in the Greatest Story, the Gospel. I remember I heard this quote some years ago and it has always stuck with me. Every time I sit down to watch a movie or read a book I remember this and look for Gospel threads to pull out here and there. It is no different with the story of Robin Hood.
Last week he had our English students over to our house for an "English party". Needless to say they were pumped to be partying with the foreigners. We advertised the time as an opportunity for them to practice their English, hear stories, and go over in-class material. One of the in-class activities being a reading of the story of Robin Hood. We told them to be at our house at 2pm. As expected they arrived promptly 1 and half hours after the suggested time of arrival (Central Asian's watches are naturally slow).
So at around 3:30, twelve or so of our English students settled into their seats with hot tea in hand ready to practice their English. Ramsey and I started asking questions to guide the conversation. But before we knew it we were diving head long into the highly anticipated conversation about the Robin Hood story from class. We asked our students what they liked best about the story. Some said they liked how brave Robin Hood was. Others said they liked how he helped the poor. But the last person to speak really grabbed our attention when he said, "I really liked how the King came back at the end and made everything good again."
I was blown away by this comment. Because as I thought about it I realized that this student had just laid out the whole of my christian eschatology in one simple, yet profound statement. Ramsey sensed the theological weight of the statement as well and he asked the students if they knew the verb "to restore"? So for the next 10 minutes or so we tried our best to explain what it means to restore something. We even wrote the word 'restoration' on a white board in the room. We then explained the reason we loved these words so much is because as Christians we believe Jesus Christ is going to come back to restore all things on the earth and fix everything that is broken. Just as King Richard came back to dethrone the evil prince John and take back what was rightfully his, so would our King come back, dethrone the prince of this world, and make the world he created right again. Restoration.
This conversations opened us up to a robust dialogue about the key differences between Islam and Christianity. And praise God we got to share the Gospel with 12 guys who may have been hearing this blessed message for the first time. This is what our time here is all about.
So we know not yet how our messages were received. We know not what things, if any, were lost in translation. We don't even really know if anybody even cared about what we said. But what we do know is that the good news was shared. And we do know that God has promised His Word will not come back void. So we do know we should be encouraged at our gracious Father giving us such an opportunity.
The Lord is doing work here in CA. Praise God for Robin Hood. Praise God for stories. Praise God for truth. Praying that these English parties are continued in such a way that they would contribute to us seeing some unreached people partying with us in the New Heavens. For His Glory... Amen.