As I witness the political and religious conversations around me, I am increasingly saddened by the deep divisions that are coming to define us as Christians. It feels like our ability to engage in civil discourse and treat those with whom we disagree as people made in the image of God, is waning. I believe one issue that factors into our struggle to live in community with those who think differently than we do is that we forget who we are.
My longing for Surrey Christian School is that we are defined as a community that is centered on the person and work of Jesus. That sounds simple, but what does it mean?
I shared with the staff at the beginning of this school year that my longing for Surrey Christian School is that we are not defined as a community that is on the right or the left, and that we are not defined as a Christian community that is conservative or liberal. My longing for Surrey Christian School is that we are defined as a community that is centered on the person and work of Jesus. That sounds simple, but what does it mean? I believe it means that we are rooted in the The Story, the story of YHWH and His people. The book of Jeremiah clearly indicates that YHWH is deeply grieved and angered by the misguidedness of our lives (5:25-28, 29), however this anger and grief are in the context of His hope for relationship with us (3:19). Once this truth is made transparent and the concurrent grief and anger of God is expressed, YHWH moves to express mercy with the heart of a mother (31:19). The closed relationship between YHWH and Israel is re-opened via YHWH’s anguished love for us! In other words, our sin is disclosed, and God’s merciful heart towards us uncloses a relationship that has been closed off.
What does this have to do with how we live in community at SCS? I believe it speaks to our need to center our identity, both as individuals and as a community, on the truth that our misguidedness is fully known by God; on His deep longing for our good and therefore the grief that our sin causes Him; but also on the reality that God’s heart is bent towards mercy. I believe embracing this grand story of God and His people will foster a deep humility amongst us. If we are a confessional people, understanding that we are fully known by God but beautifully redeemed by Jesus, I believe we will more readily move towards a posture of honouring each other well.
My hope this year as we continually grow into the peculiar, Kingdom-oriented community God desires of us, is that we will increase in humility and love for each other. May those around us recognize the beauty of our diversity at SCS, and witness that we steward it well for the sake of the Kingdom.