I will confess, I’m feeling fractured and in bits and pieces this week as I prepare to preach on Sunday on the value of wholeness. Wholeness? How do I do that while I’m in Canada this week working over 100 hours this week. Togetherness? How do I do this when I’m away from my church family? Contentedness? How do I do this? To be sure, I’m feeling very fractured despite the call to be something different.
This isn’t just my story right now. I’m sure there are many of you out there also feeling pulled apart in different directions. What makes it worse is on a societal level, our country continues to struggle with the increasing gap between people who have nothing and those that have much. As I prepare to preach on Phil. 1 I’m reminded on the value of “Koininia”- the greek word for true fellowship and wholeness. “Together,” says Paul, “we are more valuable than when we’re alone.” This is what the church teaches and yet at our root, we are living within a capitalistic and individualistic mindset that honors the opposite. It’s one of the challenges facing our country as we continue to divide the middle class into upper and lower class. How do we come together?
Looking at the chart here floating around the internet this week, it seems the guilty party might be capitalism. But is there another financial system that fixes this fractured feeling I experience? Ask those in North Korea or China how communism feels. Perhaps we don’t need a different political system, we need a new heart. And only Christ can change us and make us new and help re-wire us to be agents of love and mercy and grace to the world. Don’t feel like bridging the gap between rich and poor and serving others? Doesn’t matter. Christ calls you to this bridge building work here, and here, and here. The point is, we’re called to be DOING something in our faith and stepping out and trying to attack some of the demographics on the chart above that are so troubling.
We start with our fractured and harried hearts and ask God to make us new. And from that place of being forgiven we get a new mission to be about more than just ourselves…we are called to champion the cause of the least of these. Remember in Matthew 25:40, “As you do for the least of these,” says Jesus, “you do for me.”
How are you engaging actively in the things Jesus talks about? This is more than a guilt trip; it’s a great question to help you live into the calling of being a Christ follower. Because I can honestly say in my 37 years, the people living the richest lives full of joy and hope and gratitude are those that are actively living out their faith in tangible ways and blessing others. They are those that spend time tearing down the gap, financially or spiritually, that is fracturing our society.
So be encouraged, there is much work to do. We get to do this as Christ followers, joyfully living into the hope of Christ. He wants to use us. How lucky are we???