Today we live in a culture that's very individualistic, that's all about us.
We are the centre of the universe, life is about us making our way and doing the best for ourselves.
We're the most important thing and value is place on everyone being happy as long as they don't interfere with other people's lives. We're free to do whatever we like, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else and makes us happy.
It doesn't have to be that way.
There is another way.
Loving one another, serving one another, serving one another, forgiving one another, whatever we think of someone. Whether we like them or not. Being accepting for people as they are and putting others priorites and best before our own.
We can't do this as on our own though.
Jesus is about community.
That's why church is so important. Christians who think they don't need church or church is irrelivant are going against what Jesus talks about in my opinion.
When Jesus sent his disciples out, He did it two by two. In community. Not alone.When the Holy Spirit came, when the church started 'they were all together in one place'. The disciples were a group, a community.
All with different gifts. All with different qualities. All with different needs.Complimenting, supporting, serving each other.
Together we are stronger.
Together, if we try to celebrate our similarities instead of arguing over our differences, then we can make a huge difference.
The world is in crisis. Poverty. Consumerism. Injustice. People trafficking. War. Unecessary pain and suffering.
People are looking for genuine hope. People are looking for real love and acceptance. People are in need of grace and forgiveness.
Jesus can give them all that, and as Christians and a church, His body, we are His represnetatives. When people see us, they use that to see what Jesus is like. We need to be giving people a positive and life-changing picture of Jesus. A real picture of Jesus.
Someone who makes problems in life easier to cope with, but doesn't always magically take them away. Someone who loves, accepts and forgives those who don't deserve it. Someone who stands against injustice and poverty, and leads the way in taking on these issues, both locally and internationally.
Jesus isn't asking us to be perfect.
He's asking us to be real. To show them what He's all about, what His values are, how He can change lives and that the divded, hypocrytical image the church has is a distorted image of who Jesus is and what our faith is about.
To show them that Christians aren't perfect, but have a real hope and a transforming power in their life which can sustain them, change them and make difficult times easier to deal with. Can make life worth living and give people a purpose. That there is a community, a body, which supports, takes care of, serves and blesses people who need it, and takes care of people both within it and outside it.
Show them who Jesus is and what church should be. Show them the reality of being a Christian.
Together we can do it. With Jesus as our role model, our guide and at the core of who we are and what we do.
Idealistic? Maybe, but that's what Jesus wants us to aim for. If we're not careful, we can let the cynism, mistrust and negativity of the world bring us down. We need to be positive, we need to beleive in the hope we have.
Otherwise, what exactly are we beleiving in?