As I write this, I’ve just got home from seeing a film put together by the Centre for Public Christianity, For the Love of God: How the Church is Better and Worse Than You Imagined. It is a great historical account of some of the ways in which Christians have been a huge blessing in society, as well as some of the atrocities that Christians have been involved in through the ages. The hope of the people involved in putting it together is that those who see it will recognise which of these things are in line with the founder of Christianity, the one that we Christians profess to follow, Jesus. For more information on the film as well as further materials along these lines that will become available online in early July, have a look at www.betterandworse.film
One of the things that struck me in the film is the amount of good that followers of Jesus have done in the world and the way in which our fellow Christians have stood for justice in a whole range of ways. It’s stunning when you reflect on it.
I was reflecting on my day as I was driving home and was struck by the number of our congregation members that I’ve connected with who are also involved in standing for goodness and justice in the world. As I arrived at church this morning, one of you was dropping food off for another of you to take for distribution in Willagee. I have had texts with another person about ministry with refugees. I’ve had a conversation with a person in the congregation who is involved with running a ‘MAD – Make-a-Difference’ workshop for teenagers.
This morning we prayed for the prison ministry that several of our congregation are involved in. I’ve spoken about ‘WITH’, a new group in our church for women who are captured by Jesus’ heart for the poor and marginalised and who wish to join with Him in bringing hope and light into those places. I have had some conversations about AMUC (Among the Urban Community) that Suzie Brans is involved in leading this July. This is a mission exposure week in Perth where you have the opportunity to visit various agencies who work with marginalised people; also, to participate in workshops on different issues relating to justice and to have teaching sessions about how the justice issues relate to the gospel. This was one of my most favourite – though most challenging – weeks of the year over the five years I was involved in leading on this program. To round it all off, one of our congregation raved about a book they are currently reading (Generous Justice by Tim Keller), which explores these issues so well.
That’s just a snapshot from my day showing the ways in which some of us are living as followers of Jesus, being His hands and feet around issues of justice. I’m acutely aware of so many other things I could mention that others of our congregation are involved in – and there are plenty of other activities that we will never know about.
It’s so good to be part of a community where so many of us are active in participating in the rule and reign of Jesus in all sorts of ways. Be encouraged in the places where that’s you. And if all of this sparks your interest, maybe something like AMUC is for you. I’d love to chat with you about it – or perhaps some other avenues for exploring these things.