(this is something of a follow-up to last week. I apologize if I sound repetitive. I’ll try for a new topic next week.)
There are interesting conversations happening in the blogosphere these days (for those not as techno-savvy that’s the world oF blogs and online articles). Some of the conversations in Methodist circles has to do with the latest push to move people out into the community and beyond the walls of the church. “Change the World” is United Methodist church-wide event on April 24th and 25th meant to encourage such activity. What I find disturbing… well, more like disconcerting… is the missing piece of the puzzle is our willingness or proactive work in sharing the truth of Jesus.
It has become more natural for us now to go and help others in need – mission work and responding to human suffering. I am extremely glad we have made such intentional strides. What still seems to be unnatural is our ability to let others know that it is Jesus who changed our lives and gave us the heart to reach out to others.
We’ve been talking about this in our church, Asbury UMC. While it is true that we go out into the community because God has called us to love and help our neighbor, the deeper, more significant truth can still be lost if that’s all we say. We’re learning to respond with a witness to the truth that is beyond what God has done for us. If we are out in the community doing something and someone asks what we’re doing, we’re learning to respond – “Because we want people to know God loves them and He called us to show them”.
To only say we do it because God calls us to it is a witness to our obedience. To only say we do it because we want to make a difference in a hurting world is a witness to the brokenness of the world. Both declarations are true but they do not hit the greater truth – God loves us all and he wants all to know that.
When we go as we’re called to go it is for God’s purpose – to seek and save the lost and let them know He is there to give them hope. When we go to help a hurting world it is for God’s purpose – to bring freedom to the oppressed and hope to the suffering so that they know the truth that God sent Jesus to save them and give them hope.
God’s purpose is not to change the world, per se, but to save the world and reconcile the world to himself through Jesus Christ. As we go into the world and help bring about change let’s give a witness to the deepest truth – God so loved the world he sent His son, Jesus so that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life… and now Jesus is leading the Church to continue that ministry of reconciliation.
Why do we go to change the world? We do it because God wants everyone to know God loves them and he asked us to show them.
Can I get a witness?
Holy high five to you, Mike