Monday, September 29, 2014

CASCARÍ - PART 3

(please scroll down to first read parts 1 and 2 if you have not already done so)
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WISDOM THAT THE EYE DOES NOT SEE

The little church of Cascarí had some things in common with the first century church of Corinth.  In some regards, both churches were struggling.  Both had seen people who once professed to be Christian, fall away from the teaching and go back to the culture of the world.

For many of Cascarí, their enslavement to the world the second time was perhaps stronger than the first. I am not sure what to say about this, except, “May the Lord have mercy on their souls.”


These unfaithful ones tended to give a negative representation of the Christian life to the people of the village of Cascarí, but I instead preferred to concentrate on the few whom had remained faithful in their commitment, despite all hardships.  Their continued commitment had not brought them prosperity, nor did it make their lives free from trouble.  Outwardly, one could say that their faith had brought them no benefit whatsoever. But despite these things, they continued in the Lord.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.  (1 Corinthians 1:21 NAS).

Why have the people of the church of Cascarí continued faithful to God, despite all of the ridicule that they endured?  Listening to the weekly testimonies from the people of the church, I would have to say that the heart of the matter is embodied in this same passage in First Corinthians

…Just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God…Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God (1 Corinthians 2:9-12 NAS).
 
In many ways, the Christians of Cascarí had despaired in gaining anything of substance from this life.  I really think that they did not expect their lot to improve significantly – financially or otherwise.  They worked when they could find it. And they hoped. But they had lived within the financial limits of their situation long enough that they also knew that they had to be realistic.

Nevertheless, despite the weekly prayer requests for work and for family and health, there was an underlying contentment and peace about the people there.  There was a confidence that God would adequately provide in this life.

However, the hope of a life completely free from want and trouble would be reserved for another day.  This is the type of hope demonstrated by the Old Testament saints – a hope that is linked with confidence.  Like Abraham and Sarah of old, the people of the church in Cascarí were waiting to see what God has prepared for them in the heavenly kingdom.

THOSE OF WHOM THE WORLD IS NOT WORTHY

Is this foolishness and defeatism?  I think that rather it is wisdom.  In the eyes of this age, the difference between a successful life and an unsuccessful life is a few thousand dollars – a somewhat foolish measure when you think about it.  From the view of the age to come, the difference between a successful life and an unsuccessful life is the object of our faith.

The object of the faith of the people in the little church high in the mountains was this: “A demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that…faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NAS).

I could tell that the Christians of Cascarí, because of their life of struggle and little education, in some ways felt a little inferior to the rest of the world. But I should not be surprised to see them one day being recognized for their great wisdom.

They have come to expect little from this life. They were too occupied thinking about what the Lord has prepared for them in the next.

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