The ministry of Jesus Christ lasted only a few years, yet within that brief time, he brought forth a radical new paradigm for equality within human relationships. He embodied and demonstrated a divine pattern for personal and social liberation. He showed us that God dwells among us and within us and is ever luring us toward wholeness and love. The history of the Christian Church, however, is far from benign. For all its good and beauty throughout the years, ours is also a history of horrific crusades, the justification of slavery, oppressive and cruel doctrines, exclusion, and indifference to human suffering. Today we are confronted with the combative voices of white Christian nationalists. As Christians, it is important to be honest about both the beauty and harm caused by our faith. This Sunday we will examine the church of the past, the trends in the Christian Church today, and imagine tomorrow’s church: a church with Jesus at the center.
“Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.”— Acts 9:31