Is it really true?
I had the privilege of getting to know David Shenk recently. David has the amazing gift of communicating with almost childlike simplicity the life-changing truth of the Good News. As I listened to the stories of his encounters with people wherever he goes I realised something obvious, but also profound: he really believes this and is joyfully compelled to share it with others.
Many of us in the Micah family are involved in aid-response type ministry and are activists seeking to advocate and act on behalf of the poor and oppressed. We, like David, are joyfully compelled to serve this way. We know deep down that we should also proclaim and share the Good News verbally and we totally embrace integral mission, but when it comes to sharing our faith we may feel constrained. This can lead us to feel guilty and defensive.
Why? Over the years we have witnessed some rather weird evangelistic initiatives. We are suspicious of those who use aid as a means to an evangelistic end. Indeed we try hard to disassociate ourselves from this by clinging to the principles of codes of conduct. We pour our energy into service and activism – all good in themselves, but something continues to feel incomplete.
I believe we need to reflect back to what is Good about the Good News – and here lies our freedom. Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
For Christ’s love compels, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. (v 14).
The Good News, is that Christ died for all. Every single person (past, present and future). No matter whom they are, where they are, what they have done – Christ died for them. Their sin, their separation from God, their guilt and shame, their failures – all of this Christ took to the cross. We are totally and utterly free! So great and inclusive is Christ's love, that he chose to carry all of this on himself so that we would not have to. This is Good News.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view…. (v 16).
How can we? For each person has been set free through Christ’s death and resurrection. Each person we meet, see, hear, listen to, serve – has been set free. They simply don’t know it yet.
God is life. God is Light and in Christ we have life and light. Conversely, without God there is death and darkness. This is fact – God is the creator and sustainer of all things. To be separated from the source of life and light will lead us into increasing darkness and death.
The Good News is that in Christ we are new creations (v 17).
In Christ we have life and walk in the light. The ministry of reconciliation that God calls us to (v 19) is to share the amazing truth that they are fully loved and embraced by God and in Christ can be reconciled into life and live in light.
This is amazing and compelling to convey to all.
To each person this message is freedom, life, hope, joy and acceptance.
In all our fantastic planning and delivering of aid, advocating for justice, this reconciling and inclusive call to embrace life in all its fullness is surely an integral part of our demonstration of love.
After all, it is Christ’s love that compels us.
Is it really true? Yes, it is!
As we pray through this month’s prayer focus, let us pray with an integral missional perspective, seeking reconciliation for all in Christ.