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Theology in the Doing

“To say that we are one in Christ is more than a pious platitude,” writes Michael Casey. “It is a mandate that we are called to make a reality.”

Only unity seems almost impossible these days, doesn’t it? Our world is coming apart at the seams. Wars rage, people seem more interested in shouting at one another instead of listening for understanding, societal ills continue to grow, and even congregations are divided. Many ask, “Where can we turn for guidance? Where can we find hope?”

In my own search for meaning, I am drawn to what Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to as the “theology in the doing.” Struggling to make sense of what it meant to be the Church in Germany during World War II, Bonhoeffer declared, “The Church is only the Church when it exists for others.”

Our recent mission trip to Guatemala has deepened my appreciation of what it means to be the Church, the body of Christ in the world. Like it or not, discipleship should move us beyond our own needs, wants, and desires outward in loving service to our neighbors in need. Both here in Johnson County, Kansas, and in far-flung places like Guatemala where many of our siblings in Christ live in extreme poverty, even though people work 12-hour days to provide for their families.

The opportunity to travel to Guatemala to learn and to serve has challenged me (and I suspect others) to embrace the call to discipleship, to follow the Way of Jesus in everyday life, and to look for and discover the face of Jesus reflected back to me in my neighbor.

As the ancient text prayed, “As this fragment of bread was scattered upon the mountains and gathered to become one, so may your church be gathered together from the ends of your earth into your Kingdom” (Didache 9:4).

In Christ,
Pastor Jon

Tags: Weekly Word