New Year beginnings are always invigorating for us. For unknown reasons, we reach down and touch hope again. We nudge faith to awaken it to possibilities. We uncover dreams kept warm with winter blankets just enough to cast their vision on the spring that is around the corner. I love the new year beginnings. It is so much like the perennial and persistent grace of our Father.
At the beginning of 2018 I have a dream for us. It still revolves around the idea of continuing to shape the kind of the kind of community that we all want to live in. At the core of that dream is the task of becoming people of grace rather than judgement. Love rather than hate. Courage rather than protectionist. Hope rather than despair. All cultural transformation begins with the kind of people we are becoming. People who are becoming more and more afraid plan for and do what fear will do. Hateful people will plan for and do what hate will do. However, people who believe that love is the most powerful force in the universe and connect to the God who IS love will gently and tenderly begin to do what love will do.
I have an invitation. It is to become a follower of Jesus. Not religion. Jesus. Let’s let our heavenly Father continue to shape us individually into the kind of people who do good things. Willing to act on behalf other’s physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare even if it costs us something.
I want to continue to heal the disintegration of the connection between what we say we believe and what we actually do. We are going to do that by writing some words about what we believe about God and translate that into an ethic. All Christian theology bears ethics as its fruit. Morality is just about passively being nice. Ethics is about proactively being the presence of God’s grace, love and reality in a broken world.
We will begin this Sunday by writing our first faith possibility. It is to profess that God is and that He proactively demonstrates His existence in the act of creation. Coming to that place of faith has profound and far reaching implications. That faith alone will head you toward salvation and the salvation of your community. Please start the new year with the Soul Cafe people and the opportunity of reaffirming what you have known all your life. We are here by the breath of God.