Encouragement, which comes in many forms, is necessary for healthy and faithful relationships. We have the ability to encourage another by offering affirmation. And yet, sometimes we should not be affirmed. At times, our encouragement needs not to show up as affirmation, but to show up in the form of exhortation, where we are encouraging others to live more faithfully.
As we consider what it means to be a Community Catalyst, what does that look like in the world today where the church is not the withholder of power, but still proclaims God’s power? How does the church not be the gatekeeper of grace, but still proclaims our freedom from sin and death, made possible by grace? How does the church not require acclimation, but still proclaims Christ as the truth and the way? How does the church actively work as Christ did, to free the oppressed, to heal the sick, to give life to the dying, while not claiming glory or attention for ourselves, but giving thanks to God in heaven above?
The reason the American Dream is such a farce, is that America started with a vision that not all people were created equal – regardless what the Constitution says. But as the church, as God’s people, we are called to proclaim God’s love for all people, and that means speaking up for and sharing God’s love with those who are treated as outcasts.
The role of the Church is to bear witness to Jesus and His love and power, at work to save the world. The immeasurable power of Christ, filling up the church, and overflowing through the Church, to fill all in all. That is the hope, that is the glorious inheritance. That is the immeasurable power.
The power of God is not offered for our tribe, our kingdom, or our gain. Christ’s ascension is just another necessary action of God in critique of the self-motivation of disciples. Christ once more calls us to be prepared for the Spirit to lead us in dispersing power as we share God’s love with all persons, even to the ends of the earth.
Whether you have found yourself in a role similar to the religious elite, addicted to lure of power and ‘rightness,’ or you have found yourself in the shoes of the condemned, addicted to sinful joys, like that of physical desire, Jesus says you are given new life and a new hope in the love of God.