Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is Jesus or Humanity the Center of our Speech and Practice?

I saw this quote by Ben Simpson on another blog recently and loved it. This articulates my greatest hope, which is in our return to focusing on Christ, our true vine:

As I’ve worked among friends I’ve had a common refrain, and that is that the hope of the denomination does not rest in our ability to formulate strategic plans or to rally our collective energies around common political initiatives. It rests in a return to God. I have noted that the most telling sign that renewal is near or soon to take place will be the moment when Jesus, rather than we human beings, becomes the center of our speech and our practice. I will know things have turned when our talk of Jesus seems to reflect that we believe in a living, dynamic, active, Lord who is our Master and Teacher, walking among us, instructing us, leading us, correcting us, and transforming us, rather than referring to a cosmic Christ who may be the object of our worship, but not one in whom we trust to accomplish all that much in our presence.

I pray it may be so! The key to transformation for God's church is not going to be in working harder or smarter. It is not going to be institututional, focusing on growth in numbers, but relational, focusing on growth in the Spirit. It will be in practicing the presence of Christ and passionate biblical hospitality.

For the rest of the article, check out An Open Letter to Young United Methodist Leaders.