Some six years ago I had a thought, “Why is it that many churches only worship with people who look-alike, speak the same, and enjoy the same music?” This really irked me because when we would go to a club, or to a coffee shop, or the mall, or any other secular environment it seemed that everyone was able to interact without a problem.
The more I thought about it, the church seemed to be one of the only places in the world that was still segregated after soooo many years. Don’t get me wrong I understand racism, classism, sexism, and all the other isms exist but why is it that the church seems to be at the forefront of division. Was it not Jesus Christ who prayed that we be one so that the world would know that God sent him ( John 17:22-24).
If this is so, then ANY church that promotes segregation, separation, division, etc., especially among believers, is sinning against God. WOW!
Ok, ok, ok I know that is a bold statement but that is what I believe. This is why God placed a vision in me of a church that aims to be pro-reconciliation. This does not mean I do not understand the difference in cultures, races, sexes, age, and all the other labels that divide us, but I see them as opportunities to expand the Kingdom. I believe these differences add flavor to our Christian experience and opens us to a better understanding of others, ourselves, and scripture.
When I think about the foundation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I am encouraged in this idea of unity in diversity. I am encouraged by the fact that, as far as we are concerned, as long as you believe in Jesus as the Christ you are my brother or sister in Christ. It is this powerful conviction that causes us to love and share in worship together no matter your background, context, or circumstance.
This is the foundation of The Light of Grace Christian Church. Real People, Real Life, Real Relationships. This motto points to the fact that once we come into the light of Christ we are free to be ourselves and be accepted for who we were created to be. In this light we begin to see Christ shining through all who believe and all are accepted into His light. The name was inspired by Karl Barth who says,
“He, the One, lightens, and the Christian moves in His light. What distinguishes the Christian is that [the Christian] stands in this cone of light which proceeds from Christ. But this existence in the light is not a selfish purpose, but the Christian moves in this light, in order to be a light.” – Karl Barth
When we accept Jesus as Christ we sign up for a life of allowing God’s light to shine through us on all the world. The vision God has given me is to bring together a diverse community of people seeking a real relationship with people and God through Christ, with a foundation of service to the greater community. This is the basis of the vision.
“To Empower People to Become, Think, and Live as the Body of Christ in the Community, the Country, and throughout the World.”
“To Preach, Teach, and Live as God’s New Creation in the Light of grace.”
I will discuss more tomorrow. But I have to be disciplined and get to my sermon for Sunday. Tomorrow I will discuss in more detail the vision statement. Stay tuned and in prayer. Let’s Get It!!!