Hidalgo wants us to understand that being found by God is bigger than the escapism of having our ticket punched to heaven, and he’ll show us how God’s plan is so much more.
C.S. Lewis could’ve written the forward to the new book by Michael Hidalgo, pastor of Denver Community Church, Unlost. In fact, his quote from Lewis wraps up nicely the overall vibe and message of the book: “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal… Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” Through a quick exploration of the Old and New Testament, Hidalgo wants us to understand that we aren’t maggots, but rather the beloved creation of God (in His image!) who can be restored to right relationship by God’s grace.
In the brief overview that covers both the entrance of sin into the Garden of Eden and the process of rescuing God’s people from Egypt, Hidalgo focuses on the way that “atsab.” That’s the fear of what will happen if one comes out of hiding (shame), that causes us to distance ourselves from the God who loves us. (He also highlights that it’s the word that describes God’s broken heart when seeing humanity’s sin in Genesis.) That shame ties into the way that prisoners (like in Shawshank Redemption) can’t adapt to life outside of prison, and Israel’s need for the Ten Commandments to set boundaries in a world that was intimidating outside of Egypt’s confines.
A few more highlights to tide you over until you can read the book for yourself:
-Sin entered the world with a person and spilled into creation. In Jesus, renewal, redemption, and restoration work from a person out into the world.
-The Pharisees and others who judged Jesus believed he was doing with sinners behind closed doors what they would have done with those people behind closed doors.
-The people put Jesus to death because it was simpler than killing the parts of themselves that were needing to be “killed off.”
-Anger, hate, and killing will always be on the other side of Jesus, regardless of how ‘justified’ we feel like those things are.
The book is another thought-provoking exploration for 2014, and it’s written comfortably enough to speak to interested readers, regardless of their place on the journey.