At Central Union Church, we are blessed with two beautiful campuses, full of vibrancy and life. Yet if we are to be an authentic community, we cannot just stay here in our comfortable buildings, hoping that those we want to engage will come to us. Instead, we are called to walk in the footsteps of Christ, who went out into the world to reach people. Jesus engaged the poor and the marginalized; he stood against powers and principalities that oppressed people. If we want to be with Christ, then we need to go where Christ is – out in the world working for the liberation of all people.
Our mission statement says that we “engage and embrace ALL as we seek to embody Christ.” It doesn’t say that we only engage those who walk onto our campus or those who sit in our pews on Sunday morning. If we are going to truly embrace ALL, then to me, it seems that we may need to spend much more time out in the world. As I sit here writing this devotional, I find myself wondering how I myself might more fully live into our mission statement. I wonder how I might live into the call of Christ more authentically. I also wonder how we as a community might more fully live into the great responsibility of that calling.
As I close this week, I find myself reflecting on James 2:17-18: “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.” My prayer for us all is that we would be an authentic community that doesn’t just tell people what we believe, but that lives what we believe through our actions both on and off our campus. I pray, as the hymn says, “they will know we are Christians by our love.”