About a year and half ago, a friend sent me a YouTube clip to watch. I must have listened to it five times that first viewing! Why? Because the lyrics of the song so resonated with the message I had been speaking out wherever I had the opportunity. It expressed so vividly for me the cry for the Kingdom that Jesus expresses so often in His preaching and teaching.
Look at this line in verse three:
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are your church, we are the hope on earth.
I wonder if we’ve lost that: that as followers of Christ who dwells in us, we are the hope on earth, we are the Church. Now before you throw garlic at me, hear this out.
We are created in the image of God. Jesus, in His earthly journey, was God with skin on. He sent out His followers, His disciples to do what he was doing, teach what He was teaching, love who He was loving. He was and is hope on earth. He instilled that hope deep into the hearts of those who heard and responded to the call. And as Christ’s image-bearers, they took that hope wherever they went.
It spread the kingdom. It infiltrated the darkness.
It changed how people thought (repentance means to re-think and walk a different way) and viewed creation and created. So those first gospelers personified the hope living within them to those they lived, worked, played and prayed with.
This week in Victoria our CityReach Team (a city wide church collaboration) is hosting Ed Silvoso who will be speaking on transformation. We’ve had similar conferences here before which were very good and very inspiring and lots of Christians became fired up.
And then they went home and waited.
For what? For ‘it’ to happen. Can you imagine if those first gospelers did the same thing? Went home and just waited for it to happen. Instead they gathered together and prayed and when the Holy Spirit empowered them they went as sent ones out into the spaces and places they frequented and the lands that were foreign and brought the Hope of Glory into the known world, often one person, one relationship at a time, transforming lives and thinking and hearts and actions.
Friends, we are God’s Church, His people, and we are the hope on earth that your co-worker, your next door neighbour, your soccer buddy is hoping to discover, because that hope lives within us.
Verse two plays like this:
We seek your kingdom first, we hunger and we thirst
Refuse to waste our lives, for You’re our joy and prize
To see the captive’s hearts released, the hurt, the sick, the poor at peace
We lay down our lives for heaven’s cause
We are Your church, we pray revive this earth.
If we want to be church implanters (a term I’m currently using to express what we traditionally call planting) who have impact in the communities we are implanted in, we need to seek; we need to lay down our lives. Honestly, I don’t think any gaming experience or movie can replace the joy of seeing lives impacted and set free by the Hope of Glory that lives in you and lives in me.
Have a listen and let me know what you think!
Spurring one another on,