An Open Letter to the Global Church

I’m so tired but I can’t sleep

Standin’ on the edge of something much too deep

It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word

We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard

Sarah McLachlan

I just got back from a two-day conference called Inspire Justice, and I’m in that weird space between tired and elated. After spending two days with people who care about social justice in the same way that I do, I feel a little lost. It’s hard to see how God’s kingdom should be and then to see once again how far we have to travel to reach the Promised Land. But I know this: I really want to do something with God’s church that will make a real difference in the world and in my community.

Because, my brothers and sisters, you know we live in a broken world. Never in the history of mankind has there been more affluence, and yet rarely has there been a greater distance between those of us who have so much and our brothers and sisters that have so little.

Right now, I don’t have a lot of answers, but I do have some questions. What can we do to make life better in our community? How can we serve God in the land of Mammon? Where do we begin our journey?

This Sunday my church approved a mission statement, a vision statement, and set goals for the next few years. But this is only the beginning, a road map if you will.

 And like the maps of old there is a space labeled Here There Be Dragons. Because as my pastor, John, said in his sermon this morning we are sheep amongst the wolves, and we need to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. As Christians we are in a struggle against the powers and principalities of this world. It is not an easy struggle, for the path which we are on is narrow, and all around us are the distractions of everyday life.

And so I ask you, my brothers and sisters, to think about where we are going. Because in this broken world, it is only through God’s grace that we are saved, but, though it is freely given, grace comes at a price. To paraphrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer, it is a costly grace for, far from dispensing us from good works, it means that we must take the call to discipleship more seriously than ever before.

As Christians we are in a state of constant becoming. As Christians we are not perfect and we never will be.

And that is why I call my blog Limping Towards Grace, because when I am tired I walk with a limp. And for me that is a metaphor for how God’s grace works: when I am tired and limping I need to lean on God’s grace most of all. So I am asking you, my brothers and sisters, to join me, as I struggle with God’s grace and what it means to be a Christian in our broken world.

As Christians we need to come together and discuss where we are going and how we will get there. Sometimes the journey will be easy, but sometimes the journey will leave us tired and limping. That is when we will need each other most of all.

 So let us go out into the world and embrace its brokenness and in so doing perhaps we will heal our own brokenness. For it is only in embracing each other in community and service to God that we can embrace our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And in fulfilling the great commandment to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves we will build a New Jerusalem.

“ What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

James 2:14-17


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