Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Communities of Peace

What if the Pharisee's are more comfortable in our church than Jesus? Would we care enough to notice? Would we dare to throw our traditions to the wind to follow our maker, or lie ourselves into doomed comfort?

Many churches today do not represent the King they claim.

Claquato Church by garshna, on Flickr

That is to say that their words are often correct, they read from Scripture and offer friendship to many. They are filled with wonderful people who in turn have wonderful intentions. They have all the right ingredients to be the best representations of the Kingdom possible.

But they are safe.

They seek to protect, rather than challenge. They feed each other, rather than others. They build stout walls, but neglect crumbling communities. They love, but often on their terms. They invite people in, rather than going. They run programs to the detriment of relationships.

I live in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. To my west is a cultural and business hot bed of Canada. From high tech to natural resources -- some of the world leaders are within one hundred kilometers. To my East are the beautiful Rocky Mountains, soaring above my day to day life and reminding me of a greater creator.

We are blessed with a mild climate that rarely dips below the freezing mark. With that comes great opportunity, because our communities are filled with those who are not blessed to have a roof over their heads. People that are desperately in need of peace.

In my community, as with any are families of all income levels. Some of these families are barely scraping by, not sure where the next cheque is coming from, or how they are going to pay rent. It can be a source of tension inside of marital relationships, often leaving broken families in the wake of stress. These are families in need of peace.

Canada is a highly multi-cultural environment. There are often many different countries of the world represented within blocks of one another. Occasionally this difference is discusses in hushed whispers, about 'those' people. It is a situation that is desperately in need of peace.

Jesus called us to be peacemakers.

To feed those who are hungry. Clothe those who are without. Support relationships and families with friendship and loving advice. To reach outside of our cultural comfort zones and dig in for the long term relationships required to jump existing boundaries.

Peace never comes easy. It requires each individual to put real collateral on the line. It is uncomfortable, and it rarely comes naturally. Yet when we see Jesus interact with people in his own community, they left changed. He met them where they were, met needs and challenged assumptions.

Does your community do that?

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