Reflection #28: Come, Let Us Dream the Dream / A.J. Hendry

Reading: The Book of Acts 4

“They felt that what was there’s was not their own… they shared everything they had… their was no needy people amoung them…”

I’m exhausted, and that’s the truth.

I struggle, with the church, with what it could be, with what it is.

We talk a good game, about justice, about care for the poor, about concern for the vulnerable, but the action is far from forth coming.

Yes, we’re good at charity, yes we fund ngos, and distribute food parcels, but the Divine never asked for charity.

She demanded Justice.

Charity seeks to eleviate the conscious of the giver for a moment, Justice is determined to make right what has been made wrong, for good.

Justice is what the Divine requires, Justice is what the world needs.

Now whenever I say this I am told to remember the good that Christians do, that individual Christians do this, or do that, or that churches fund this program or that program, or that Christians throughout the ages are responsible for this social reform, or that one. And that’s cool, I don’t deny that individual Christians have done and still do a lot of good. But, that’s not really what I’m getting at.

I don’t believe that the Church is called to outsource its invitation to serve the vulnerable and marginalized to a few select individuals and organizations.

We are, I believe, invited to be a real and tangible expression of the Divines Dream becoming reality in this world, at this time, in this moment.

Imagine, a community that eradicated poverty, that ended homelessness, that rid itself of inequality, that didn’t consider wealth or possessions theirs to own, but shared everything that they had, ensuring that all were cared and accounted for.

The Christian community could be such a community, but not without a total reimagining of the way we live and be in the world currently.

The Church is not a building, it is not Sunday morning, it is not your pastor, or your elders, it isn’t the people that hurt you, or the ones who continue to try and exclude you, the Church is a movement, a people, the people.

When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom, he was using a metaphor that would have been easily understood in his day, and in his time. People knew what Kingdoms were, they were all a part of one. After the resurrection the Early Followers of the Way testified that they were part of a new Kingdom, that their allegiance was not to Rome, or Jerusalem, but to the rejected and murdered Jewish radical, to King Jesus.

A King who invited them to Love their enemies, and to pray for those who persecuted them. A King who invited them to sell their possessions, and to give to any and all who were in need. A King who ruled through service, and invited His followers to do the same.

And so the Early Followers saw themselves as part of this alternative society, a new Kingdom springing out from the heart of the Empire.

Imagine if the christian community was such a place today? What would that look like?

I imagine we would have to rethink how we organized ourselves. We would need to recentre ourselves on Jesus’ vision for the Kingdom, reawaken to the Divine Dream Jesus left for us.

We don’t need another church trust, or charity to follow the One we have committed to serve. Perhaps, what we need is to reimagine what it means to be the church, to follow, to serve. To ask ourselves, if Jesus was King, and we were a part of a Kingdom that He ruled, what would that look like?

Would citizens of His Kingdom store wealth, while others in the Kingdom went hungry? Would some of His citizens live in comfort and security, while others lived in cold and drafty homes? Would some citizens have access to the best health and medical care available, while others died or suffered because they couldn’t afford the care they needed?

If the answer is no, then why do we believe it is right for such gross inequality to exist within our own communities today?

I’ll leave the question with you. And if the answer makes you uncomfortable, I invite, come with me, and let us Dream with The Divine together.

A.J. Hendry

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