So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
When I photographed our church campus the other day (see Spectacular Garden Photographs) I grabbed one last image in the almost dark before heading back to my car. Later, feeling the absolute necessity of the faith community during the latest splash of tragic violence, I added these words: “This is the place where redemption begins; even if it’s only a hint, or just a little light leaking from a small door. It’s church, it’s where we meet God, it’s the body of Christ, and it’s where we belong….”
It’s July 10, another Sunday morning, and the members of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church are spread out all over the state, the USA, and the world. We’re a traveling group, our bunch (especially in the summer months), and you can track us on Facebook and Instagram, posting photographs from just about everywhere. But our calling as a redeemed people, the reason the beautiful building and grounds exist at all, regardless of where in the world any of us are this particular weekend, is that of “the ministry of reconciliation.” Or, as the ERV puts it, “God gave us the work of bringing people into peace with him.”
THE JESUS INITIATIVE: I can’t think of a more appropriate description of The Jesus Initiative at the end of such a week as this, when another sad shadow has darkened our national consciousness. We are called to invite people into peace with God, and – by extension – peace with one another.
And it all begins here, at our church home base. This is the place where redemption begins; even if it’s only a hint, or just a little light leaking from a small door. It’s church, it’s where we meet God, it’s the body of Christ, and it’s where we belong….
I captured another poignant image early Saturday evening. Rebekah is preparing her message for worship in the morning. Interestingly… providentially… she is speaking about light – “Jesus said I AM the light of the world” (John 8:12).
I pray that some of the Jesus light will leak out on us – and through us, and I pray that I will see you in church. In peace, the Jesus kind of peace – DEREK