Transformation/Reconciliation – Positioning for Discipleship (1 of 8)
Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting several reflections that pertain to our vision and are at the heart of why we live in Kenya. A lot of it compiles thoughts and practices about walking with the marginalized poor but I believe it can relate to anyone's search for truth and meaning. I thought it appropriate to try and tie my thoughts together with the upcoming Easter season. I invite you to join us in reflecting on our journey as we seek to share the Gospel - the good news about our Savior Jesus. Hope you get something out of it. Here is the 1st of 8: Transformation/Reconciliation – Positioning for Discipleship.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-20
Isn't that an appropriate passage while we approach Easter, as we reflect on his sacrifice and celebrate his resurrection? Makes me want to know him more deeply and tell others about him, this loving creator and ruler of all things. So what are we to do with this? What should be our response?
One way that Christians would find a response is that we, the church, should walk with each other in this reconciliation or transformation (defined as a changed people and changed relationships - this fundamentally includes our relationship with God). Transformation or the reconciling of all things, effectively happens through God's work inviting the church, the body of Christ, to get in discipleship relationships with others, just as Jesus modeled for us with his followers/disciples.
- we should constantly be seeking engagements that “position us for discipleship”
In Acts 1-3 the author Luke is concerned with discipleship and Christian community. God’s plan is not just that the gospel will go to all peoples, but that all peoples will be brought together through the gospel to form one people in Christ. God is calling the peoples of the world to share in community that includes their enemies and reconciles them with those who worship and live in other ways. The universalistic elements of Luke’s theology have implications not only on missiology, but also for ecclesiology (‘how we do church’) and the social interaction within the church.
- we are merely participants in God's story
We celebrate his birth and life, overwhelmed by his death and rejoice in his resurrection. Jesus, our King, having established his kingdom is still working and invites us to join him in his work until the fullness of his kingdom will one day be complete.
Over the next few days I'll post thoughts in defining poverty, the role of the church in addressing poverty, root causes of poverty, justice, funding programs and partnerships...
See the post from March 9th for a deeper dive: "Vision - the Pastoral Circle"