In our faith, the work of revelation properly belongs to God. We can't force God to reveal anything to us, or anything at all. Not the Kingdom of God, not who will win the next World Cup, not the cure for cancer, nothing of minor or massive significance. We can't force God's hand.
But we can use our hands. We can, and should, respond.
That, you see, is the wonderful interplay between revelation and response. As God's creatures, we respond to God's action. As actors in God's story, we respond to God's stage directions. We're simultaneously free to act and dependent on God's action. As we come closer in the lectionary to Jesus's Transfiguration, the very precipice of Lent, we see that logic enacted in our own liturgical calendar. The Lenten season, full of our repentance and preparation for Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, is immediately preceded by the transformation of Christ before our very eyes. We may see Lent as a chronological, calendrical response to the Transfiguration.
We may also see Lent as a response to Holy Week. This touches more on kairos time, the kind of time that focuses not on sequence but on meaning, propriety, or significance. In other words, for us Lent serves as a response to Holy Week because we plan to join the disciples at the Last Supper and "do this in remembrance" of Jesus. Lent serves as a response to Holy Week because we will go to dark Gethsemane on Good Friday. We know that, on the Great Sabbath, Jesus harrows hell on that holiest of Saturdays, liberating all oppressed by sin and death, and so we respond with an entire season of Lent. Ultimately, we prepare ourselves in response to and anticipation of the Great Easter festival.
"Good order" isn't often a concern in campus ministry. We're more consumed with creativity and experimentation, responding contextually rather than dogmatically. However, we mustn't underestimate the importance of the good order of these things, with God's action always first. Our actions aren't meaningless; rather, they're imbued with meaning through the activity of God. Our work isn't worthless; rather, it's made worthy by the one who worked us into existence from the dust of the earth. When we see our living as a response to God's life, that's the beginning of the reign of God in our lives, and the end of the reign of me. That order matters not because it demeans us, but rather because it give us the perspective of meaning through the eyes of Jesus, the one who sacrificed all that we might live abundant life. We'll never love ourselves or the world with the fullness of God unless we allow the Kingdom of God to reign first in our lives. That's why revelation precedes response.