It is a great privilege to be a part of the Glendale City Seventh-day Adventist Church. This post is the first in what will be a tradition of fostering dialogue beyond the sermons I share each week. As the MP3 files are uploaded to our church website, I will link to those as well for those who missed it or want to listen again. I look forward to the discussions to come!
OCTOBER 13, 2012, ReconcileRestore: An Attitude, A Way of Life
Passage: 2 Corinthians 5.14-6.2
This passage has been a sort of mission statement of mine for many years now. It has continued to challenge how I understand God’s posture towards humanity and what it calls me to do as an ambassador of God’s grace revealed in Jesus Christ. I have summed up this mission statement as “ReconcileRestore”–that God is in the process of bringing all people back to himself and that he is making everyone and everything NEW. My role as a follower of Jesus is, then, to view people as new creations and to communicate God’s acceptance of them and share the good news of the work that is being done in their lives through the Holy Spirit.
As a church, I believe we are called to be a community of faith that goes beyond good manners, that goes beyond feel-good progressive theology towards a radical hospitality that creates an open-door environment of acceptance and love, that actively pursues relationships outside the walls of our church, and that tenaciously holds on to friendships when people exhibit annoyng or unsetting behaviors or attitudes. Doing the deep work of pushing our friendship through our differences and weaknesses to true brother- and sisterhood is, I believe, the call of radical hospitality that is proclaimed in this passage.
What excites me about joining the faith community of Glendale City is that this congregation has already exhibited radical hospitality in a number of ways over the years and I can’t wait to see us continue to expand the reconciling-restoring ministry of Jesus to our city, in our families and at our places of work.
What do you understand the reconciliation of God to be? How do we partner as God’s ambassadors in this work? What does viewing people as “new creations” look like on a practical level? I look forward to your thoughts on these questions as well as any other thoughts that were sparked during worship