In 1 Corinthians 12:26 we read of the community of Christ: If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. In this moment, as the body of Christ, we suffer and lament together as we recognize more clearly and mourn the rise of antagonism toward and violence against members of the Asian community in the US. I know that many on our staff and in our church & community are impacted personally in myriad ways. Please, let’s take time as we enter into the weekend to check in on one-another, and on those we serve, and to make space for processing, listening, and care.
Also, this coming Monday evening at the Cooper Rd campus chapel, Pastor Insoo Kim will lead us a time of prayer with and for our Asian sisters and brothers and all those who want to join in support and prayer. Information and registration links will be shared during the end of this weekend’s preach.
As the world around us tries yet again to parse out and untangle the relationships between sexism and racism and addiction and violence and power and objectification… and other threads of destruction in the world… we as Christians have a deeper language yet for the darkness we experience in ourselves and in the world around us. The world is broken at a fundamental level, and the impact of that break is constant, layered, costly, painful, and scary…. sin is indeed a crack in the very foundation. And I know it might feel overwhelming at times to know how to engage, to stay connected, and to do the deep work of practicing the discipline of becoming a beloved community in the midst of such foundational brokenness.
The ministry of Jesus is so instructive in a really simple manner, in times like these: The incarnation is our instruction: the word moved into the neighborhood, and set up camp with us.
One of the simplest ways to suffer with is to be purposefully present to someone else. Show up. Make a call. Offer a quiet prayer. Ask a gentle question. Lean toward listening and understanding. Let’s remind one another in these days that we are in this together, as the body of Christ. And let’s demonstrate togetherness as a staff, and as members and leaders in our church.
And let’s not forget that while ‘repairing the foundation’ is the work of God’s power and not ours… even so, His power is found in His presence! And his presence is with us! This is the work that we are called to at Vineyard Columbus when we say we’re called to partner with Christ to bring healing into the world. So take heart! We serve the God who laid the foundations of the earth.
So Father God… would you grant all in our community an increase of your presence, an increase of your power, and would you set our eyes on your good and beautiful kingdom? Would you build your beloved community in our midst? Would you make us strong and courageous? Would you teach us to mourn together, and also give us grace to rejoice together… Would we not grow weary in doing the good you’ve called us to! We ask for your protection, your rest, your peace, your faith, your hope, and your love. For Christ’s sake. Amen.
With much affection,
Julia, also on behalf of Eric and the servant leaders