There was a time when the church was very powerful -- in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. --Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
Being a Christian isn’t about escaping this world for another one. Our Savior Jesus Christ bids us to enter into creation, culture, and community in such a way that affirms its original goodness, its need of grace in its present brokenness, and hopes for its coming renewal when Jesus comes again. Jesus Christ died not just to renew humans but to renew all creation. With this view, we work to bring shalom, which is God’s peace, which is really bigger than just an absence of strife but includes also prosperity and well-being, to every part of creation we live in.
The way that God calls us to do this is to model the life of the Son, Jesus Christ, who came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. Christians move from community to serving the world by sharing our time, resources, and talents with our neighbors and by also sharing the incredible story of God’s grace with them. This mission then, by God’s grace, begins the cycle all over again for new believers.
We serve to make the church work, care for each others’ needs, and to care for our neighbors, community, city, and creation around us…