I write with a huge dose of gratitude to let you know that my tenure as director of NEXT Church comes to a close at the end of May 2021.
That got me thinking about what these same folks thought about hell. Because it seems like it’s often the same folks who are judging which people get to go to hell or not are the ones causing hell on earth for people.
Thus, I totally agree with Abdullah’s s suggestion that “we need a change of heart that leads to changes in our priorities and systems.” This change, however, starts from ourselves – the way we think, feel, and act. Then, we can proceed with changing our culture and institutions.
We have come a long way from the “sending model” of mission and the Western Christendom worldview. Covid-19 introduced a new reality that challenged many of our cherished assumptions around mission, missions, and missional. It has shown us a way forward to faithful witness in our life and experience as church.
We are now being given an opportunity to reimagine life in a new way; in a godly way that more closely aligns with the way of Jesus Christ as we learn through Scriptures and see expressed through his followers within and beyond the walls of the church. It is a WAY which does not shut out but invites in; a WAY that seeks to heal the wounded and gives hope to the hopeless.
The translation of the Hebrew scriptures to Greek and the production of other scriptures in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew were also practices of resistance against hegemony. Resistance literature holds out images of an ideal past and a utopian future. Do we not also feel a similar tension when we do a critical reading of biblical texts?
Here in the United States, with the seeming end of the presidential election season and the promise of multiple vaccines, I was more than ready to be a drum major for hope into 2021 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic we have all been enduring. But another unexpected moment in the life of my home congregation in 2020 makes easy sentimentality impossible.
In today’s blog we explore how refugees enact everyday resistance in liminal spaces. I have put together two narratives from the struggle of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, and the Saharawis of Western Sahara.
How much will engaging the world as a church newly committed to addressing and ending systemic racism, addressing and ending poverty bring a new vitality to our congregations, families and communities?
We don’t lack motivated, called people who love Jesus. We lack care about God’s people who live in small towns and rural communities.