What does it mean to be the Church in such a time as this? Many are asking. I am too. However, it’s a question that’s weighed heavy long before the inauguration of our nations’ 45th president. As one of my theological heroes recently said, “It behooves the Church to pay more attention to the continuities, not the discontinuities, between the past and previous administration.” So while this may be a kairos moment, it didn’t start with the precipitous power-plays of a new regime but, rather, the enduring powers of a struggling, insecure empire.
As my pastors have long pointed out, we find great company in the scriptures for this task. The people of God have always needed to wrestle with what it means to be faithful to Yahweh in the shadow of pharaohs, kings and emperors, whether hapless, narcissistic, or downright nefarious. Israel, and the early Christian communities, had to draw regularly from the wells of their sacred and prophetic texts in living out their calling as a “light to the nations.” This, of course, remains true for the Church to this day. For this reason, the Word of God (with Holy Spirit’s help) continues to be the necessary foundation for discerning the times, and our place in it.
I write this first blog as a new beginning. While I’ve done this kind of reflection in the past (see examples from Evangelicals for Social Action), I’ve since fallen out of the habit. However, writing is a spiritual discipline that helps me gather my thoughts and articulate what I believe…and I personally feel the moment is calling for it. By blogging publicly, I am seeking the voices of other brothers and sisters in Christ, without whom a fuller picture of God will be missed. My perspective five years from now will be different than it is today, Lord willing, by being in critical dialogue with others, not only within the American Church, but also the worldwide Ekklesia, for God knows we’re going to need help from brothers and sisters who live outside of our borders.
The ultimate hope, for all who are devoted to this pursuit, is that our Heavenly Father might find His Church renewed in, and boldly faithful to, the message of the Cross, for such a time as this. Lord, may it be so. – C. Wong