Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sorry for the blog delay. I am still getting used to transition from a student-pastor to a full-time pastor in Mertens. I hope that I will be able to blog more in the days to come.
It has become cliche to bang on the church today. Part of that is that we bang on each other within the church and fight over minutia of doctrine in our schools and churches. Part of it is that the church has often aligned itself with some type of politics or politician. I'm not just talking about the Religious Right, but it has been the church's history since Constantine to do so. The church will always have problems. Sometimes (maybe more than sometimes) we focus on the wrong aspects of what it means to be church (such as attendance and building assets). We are full of people who are in the process of being transformed and discipled. We are not on this side of eternity yet.
Yet as I have been more and more immersed in the local church, I have fallen more and more in love with it and more and more convinced that the church of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world, or maybe better said a partner in the healing of the world. The church is a place where you can come and experience resurrection, reconciliation and healing. It's our job, our definition. That is the kingdom vision that Jesus "bought with his blood." But here's the catch, it's not us doing the work. The good news of the church is that we are a people being formed for partnership in God's Mission in the world. God is always at work in the world He created. God is at work reconciling, healing, forgiving, and saving the world He loves through Jesus Christ. The church is invited to participate with God in his work. God forms us for this. The cycle of how healthy church with a kingdom vision works is that God works in us, we work out what God works in, and that cycle continues over and over again. Why church? Because we in the church are continuing to be formed and transformed into Christ's image and to participate in God's mission in the world. What could be more exciting than that?