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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Amnesia

Today's post was inspired by Linda Booth's thought provoking article in the March 2012 Herald entitled Signal Communities...Reflect Christ's Peace. (You can read the entire article by clicking here.)

Apostle Booth draws to our attention Jesus' efforts to create a signal community with his disciples and followers. Acts 2 then tells how the first-century church attempted to follow Jesus' example and teaching by living that community model. Apostle Booth points out that throughout our history, Community of Christ has steadfastly believed that it is also called to create signal communities. Before the church was even established the following guidance was given.

"Seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion." (Doctrine and Covenants 6:3a, given April, 1829)

Apostle Booth then makes the following statement.

Over the years, some Community of Christ congregations have developed a form of Christian amnesia, forgetting what congregations are to signal. They have focused on themselves rather than Christ’s mission of evangelism or invitation, compassionate ministries, and justice and peacemaking for all. Discipleship often has focused on events and programs in the church building, rather than extending Christ’s mission in our neighborhoods, families, and communities.

I am not sure I would have characterized our congregations this way, but do you think this is true? It is at least an idea that is worth exploring. Seen in light of Sister Linda's observation, recent revelations to the church take on fresh meaning and call us to renew our understanding of both the global and local church's purpose. Perhaps Doctrine and Covenants 163:3a should be read, not as new counsel to the church but as an urgent reminder of what has always been our call.

You are called to create pathways in the world for peace in Christ to be relationally and culturally incarnate. The hope of Zion is realized when the vision of Christ is embodied in communities of generosity, justice, and peacefulness.

"Thankfully," says Sister Booth, "God continues to be patient with us, reminding us that we are to be signal communities that reflect Christ’s peace and live Christ’s mission." She does not let us off the hook with that statement however, reminding us that God's Spirit is already at work in our communities and there are people who are searching for our community's signal of hope.

My Spirit is reaching out to numerous souls even now and there are many who will respond if you, my people, will bear affirmative testimony of my love and my desires for all to come unto me. —Doctrine and Covenants 153:9

There is a certain urgency here. That same urgency can be seen in the closing passages of Doctrine and Covenants 164.

If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ. The challenges and opportunities are momentous. Will you remain hesitant in the shadows of your fears, insecurities, and competing loyalties? Or will you move forward in the light of your divinely instilled call and vision? The mission of Jesus Christ is what matters most for the journey ahead. (Doctrine and Covenants 164: 9d-f)

If we have developed "a form of Christian amnesia" it is clear we need to recover.

Posted by Carman

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