I understand the word "conspiracy" carries with it all sorts of negative connotations. Conspiracy theorists give voice to the fringe elements of our society that don't believe the stories as delivered to us by the media. I've been using the term for this summer's series INTERWOVEN in the context of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit working together (plotting) throughout human history to bring us all back into God's community -- the home we belong in the first place.
I don't ordinarily get my theology from television, but there is a particular episode of my favorite TV series in which Fr. Francis Mulcahy was expecting a visit from Cardinal Reardon to the MASH 4077. In his zeal to impress the Cardinal, Fr. Mulcahy began panicking at all the ungodly behavior taking place in the unit -- that is until a young soldier diagnosed with leukemia reminded him of what was most important. As the episode drew to a close, Fr. Mulcahy said these words in his ill-prepared Sunday sermon: "God didn't put us here for the pat on the back. He created us so he could be here himself, so he could exist in the lives of those he created in his image." Bravo, MASH writers!
When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, our life begins to be lived in cooperation with what God wants to do on earth. As we are ingrafted with his life, we become interwoven with his purposes. In Colossians 2:9-12, we are reminded that everything that was in the Father is in the Son, and everything that is in the Son is now in us. We've been given what Jesus was given to continue his work.
Renewal, revitalization, and rebirth is God's work. In Ezekiel 37, there is a fantastic story about the prophet who was brought by the Lord to view a valley filled with the bones of dead men. God asked Ezekiel, "Can these bones live again?" and Ezekiel replied with the only answer that makes sense: "God knows". He did as he was instructed, and as he spoke to the bones and the Breath, a vast, living army began to rise from the dead.
What was dead is reborn.
What was decaying is revitalized.
This is good news for families, for churches, and for communities who find themselves in decay, decline, despair, and near death. As we trust Christ, the Spirit breathes life into us. As we join the "living", God asks us to partner with him -- to become co-conspirators -- to bring the light and life of Jesus Christ to our communities.