I have recently read a collection of biographies on Dag Hammarskjold, Martin Luther King Jr, and Clarence Jordan. It is inspiring to see how their faith led them to engage culture with love and conviction during a highly contentious era. Clarence Jordan created Koinoinia farms and wrote "Cotton Patch Gospel" versions of the New Testament. Each of these leaders addressed issues of injustice in their time and in their own unique ways. Clarence Jordan wrote:
“Even though people about us choose the path of hate and violence and warfare and greed and prejudice, we who are Christ's body must throw off these poisons and let love permeate and cleanse every tissue and cell. Nor are we to allow ourselves to become easily discouraged when love is not always obviously successful or pleasant. Love never quits, even when an enemy has hit you on the right cheek and you have turned the other, and he's also hit that.”
This past Sunday night, we gathered for a conversation on The Role of the Church in a Divided Society. We practiced the discipline of charitable listening and noticing paradox -- seeing something from another's perspective. It was a fruitful time of exploring how Christians can faithfully respond to culture both individually and corporately. There are many ways we can respond with love, as Jordan puts it and we wondered together how that might look in this time and place.
You can view the handout on ways churches often respond to culture here, and the goals in deliberative conversations here. If you were not able to participate, you can watch the recorded Zoom call here.
This conversation laid a good foundation for us as we look at how DaySpring can respond to racism and contribute to bringing about change and redemption in this area. Join me in praying for these next conversations that will happen during the Advent season.
With great hope,
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