For Christians, our new year started yesterday when we began the season of Advent. All this month, we’ll be featuring various resources and content related to this important part of the Christian calendar.
One of the most frequently cited “Advent passages,” is Isaiah 9:6-7…
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
This verse reminds us that Jesus’ teaching, ministry, life, death, and resurrection were incredibly and irreducibly political in nature.
Such a statement is ripe for misunderstanding and the mere mention of it invites contention, but its truth is inescapable. Far from skirting the issue, for Christians to exhibit faithful witness in mission calls for direct, thoughtful, and sustained dialogue. This was precisely the point of the workshop below. We hope you’ll download, share, and comment on it in the coming week.
Here’s an interesting question for discussion:
How have you/has your congregation come to understand Jesus, the kingdom of God, and the Church as “political” realities?
This workshop asks the serious questions of how we lead our churches for God’s justice in relation to national and local politics. We ask whether national politics can be a partner in God’s justice? If so, how do we discern it? Can it be a distraction? Is there a prioritization participation in local issues of justice over nation-wide political engagement? Is there ever a time to withdraw entirely from the nation state politics for the sake of the Kingdom? The presenters will offer divergent perspectives and draw upon these for broader dialogue.
The audio download of this workshop is available HERE and is available for free all day today, 12/2/13 (discount automatically applied when you add the workshop to your cart).
**If you find resources like this helpful, there are many more available here. You might even want to grab a bundle all at the same time.**
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.