The CLA constitution and by-laws declares that CLA exists to “build up the Kingdom of God” by “bringing glory to God, strengthening the faith of believers and by inviting and assisting unbelievers to find Christ as Saviour”. Further we are to “provide a Christian home with opportunity for Christian fellowship”. This preamble is very important. We must be crystal clear on our purposes. They are rooted in Christ and His Gospel. First, we exist to know and experience God. Second, we are here to edify and encourage each other in our walk of faith. Third, we are here to show Jesus to the world through love and good deeds. This has been our core calling since two women started this church in 1937.
We are not here to pick a fight with our culture or to make political statements. We are not here to advance an earthly agenda. Although we celebrate our Canadian citizenship and country, we are not moved from our core values by what is happening around us. Jesus called this “shifting sand” in a parable in Matthew 7 and we are not to build our house or future on it. Now having said that, we do gather on Sunday and in about a dozen other gatherings each week, to strengthen your faith so that you can carry out what God has called you to in your sphere of influence. When Jesus said “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14) He was talking about the power of multiplication and Spirit. Because each one of us has a calling to be Jesus in our homes, in our neighbourhoods, in our work place and nation, God is multiplied. Further, because each of us are unique, we each have a responsibility to execute our calling in a unique way. This is the diversity of spiritual gifts, sphere of influence and personality. It’s the beauty of God’s purposes in spreading His light or as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, making us “the salt of the earth”. My point is that the things we are individually called to do will not be the same AND we have to be comfortable with that diversity. When we think everyone must be the same we damage unity and push a human agenda.
I lament the current turmoil being experienced in our nation today. Even more, I lament the division and strife in the Body of Christ. In over 30 years of ministry, I have never seen the tensions so strong. Therefore, I pray. I pray for understanding and mutual respect. I pray for love and forgiveness. I pray we would engage our sphere of influence with courage and grace. I pray for you and guard our corporate gatherings. When we gather, CLA must be a safe place for all.
In addition, we must not take our eye off our calling. This weekend we conclude our Global Awareness. Bringing God’s mercy to the broken human condition is our primary responsibility. The world is changed by the transformation of the human heart. That’s what February has been all about.