Kudos to my colleague the Rev Charlie Holt–and to the whole network of Sanford Pastors Connecting. Are racial issues in the US related to the adventure of missions? Absolutely.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus gives us one promise–that when the Holy Spirit comes down on the Church, the Church will go out to be his witnesses near and far. I am passionately committed to identifying and addressing the needs of those who have the least contact with the Gospel and the Church (nearly 1 in 4 people around the world has not such contact in their own language and culture).
The promise however is powerfully grand: God’s vision and purpose for the Kingdom of his Son is that all peoples, near and far, are to be included in that Kingdom. I rejoice that Sanford is giving witness to the breadth of the Kingdom and the scope of God’s design.
It’s not easy–in fact, it often is very difficult to see people from diverse backgrounds come together at the foot of the Cross. One pastor from Richmond, Virginia puts it something like this: “In our Church, we get confused because historically in the Black Church, when God shows up we get loud and joyful–and in the White Church, when God shows up we get reverent and quiet. So in our Church, when God shows up, sometimes we get loud and sometimes we get quiet, and sometimes we do both at the same time!”
The adventure of faith is being willing to step outside our comfort zones–down the street and across the globe. The adventure of faith is being willing to set our eyes on the things above, when the world tells us it cannot be done. The adventure of faith is seeking the purposes of a Holy Awesome God rather than settling for not rocking the boat. The adventure of faith does not limit itself to what can be seen, but holds onto the hope of what God has promised.