Many of us long for our faith to have a positive impact in a divided and hurting world, but in the midst of this it can be difficult to know where to start. We believe that God is in the business of restoring brokenness and transforming relationships, and that we are called to take part. Archbishop Justin Welby has brought together leading thinkers and peacemaking practitioners to create a 5-session course to help us do this. We are discovering our calling as part of God’s story by joining a supportive community practising approaches to engage with division, and grow in confidence in navigating the challenges of today’s culture.
The course began last Sunday and we want to share some of the things we did with you.
Click for the talk that was delivered by Susanna Hawksley God’s Calling Session 1 Talk
SESSION 1: GOD’S CALLING
We begin this journey by allowing God to awaken (or re-awaken) in us the calling to be reconciled with Him and to be ambassadors of that reconciliation in our relationships and communities. God is the one who, out of the brokenness that has been in our world since the days of Genesis, made renewal, transformation and restored relationships (Revelation 22) possible. We live in between the wholeness that God intended in the beginning and the ultimate restoration of all things, of heaven and earth. In the centre of this story is Jesus. In Him, God crosses the divide, bridging the gap between the heavenly and human, making it possible for us to enter into and experience his presence here with us on earth. He becomes enmeshed in our messy, earthy lives – exposed to fragility, relationships that go wrong, limitations, disappointments. In His life, death, resurrection and ascension, we see the extent to which God goes to restore relationship with us. When we see the complexity and division in the world around us, we can feel disheartened and overwhelmed. But Jesus set for us the example for living in a fragmented world – he broke down walls of division, crossed social boundaries and challenged conventions – showing compassion for those at the bottom of society: the widow, the outcast, the stranger. When we follow His example and invite God to be at work within us, we discover new ways of responding to brokenness. We can begin this process with the practical habits: Be Curious, Be Present and Reimagine. As reconcilers, we are called to be fully human – not superhuman, recognising that none of us are invincible or infallible but that God can work through each of us. In fact, our brokenness and our mess are the very things that will help us to be reconcilers, if we are open to allowing God to work through them. The Bible tells the stories of numerous broken, vulnerable people who become the instruments of God’s grace. This includes embracing our humanity – as people who are fractured, fragile, forgiven works in progress.
Drawing heavily on Jesus’ encounter in the Gospels and the wisdom of expert reconcilers, we have distilled three habits that transform everyday relationships. The course gives participants the chance to develop the habits and start applying them to their own lives.