Preachers should never read long quotes in a sermon. But bloggers can! Here is a quote from Brian McLaren in his book, THE GREAT MIGRATION : HOW THE WORLD’S LARGEST RELIGION IS SEEKING A BETTER WAY TO BE CHRISTIAN.
“Now imagine: if you wanted to find an organization well positioned to encourage change on all of these four levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, structural, and cultural), whom would you call? You would need an organization that is both local and global. It would need to involve people from all sectors of society – agriculture to government, health care to education, for profit to nonprofit, science to the arts. It would need to specialize in personal development, community building, deployment for mission, and public communication. What organizations would fulfill these diverse requirements? As soon as you answer the church, you have to ask why so many of our churches remain ineffective and complacent about this potentially transformative role. The gap between the church’s potential and actual impact can make you cry.”
“But far better: the gap can make you cry out, determined to see the church fulfill its potential. That’s why we need movement-building initiatives that help individual Christians, congregational leaders and denominational leaders and network leaders come together and work together for intrapersonal, interpersonal, structural and cultural change.”Brian McLaren
Or as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says “We are the Jesus Movement that is out to change the world from the nightmare it is for so many into the Dream that God has for it.”
Or as Jesus says “I make all things new!”
In a time when the Church is seen by so many as having outlived its purpose, I believe our purpose is as essential as it has ever been. We are called to dive deeply into the life of the Spirit, build community and follow Jesus in his mission of mercy, compassion and hope. This is why we pray together, take care of our neighbors, bless journalists, care for creation, stand with refugees and immigrants, address the public health crisis of gun violence, celebrate diversity, combat racism and on and on.
Our Church has a “why”, a “purpose”, a “mission.” Come Holy Spirit and enliven our hearts.