People from 61 nations are gathering at the O2 In London this week for the Hillsong Conference Europe, 2014
British, Norwegians, Germans, Russians, Ukrainians, Swedes…Swiss…Brazilians … the list of nations goes on. I even bumped into some Scots from Cumbernauld who were very happy being part of the UK #bettertogether
Seriously tho…International competitiveness and tensions have melted away this week…whether we are talking Russian and Ukrainian tension in the face of recent Crimean Peninsula annex. It’s gone. Or even Germany and Brazil facing each other in the aftermath of that 7 to 1 annihilation of Brazil during the World Cup! It’s not a barrier.
These issues – and so many more – are laid down. Because this isn’t a gathering of nations. It’s not even the gathering of individuals. No – this is a gathering of the church of Jesus Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world.
And let me make two observations about it.
FIRST – So many people have accused Christianity of being splintered…a movement of factions. Yet nothing can be further from the truth. We are not members of a club or a business organisation. We are not following a philosophy or a plan. We are not trying to impose a foreign culture on unsuspecting nations.
No – we are the church of Jesus Christ. We are the hope of the world.
We follow A PERSON not a religion.
We follow A PERSON not a code of conduct.
We follow A PERSON not a jumble of contradictory ancient texts. (But he’s ensured we’ve got a Bible which is consistent and of a single voice to lead us towards him)
SECOND – So often these days I hear people claim that THE LAST thing the world needs, is Religion. It is out of date…it is primitive…we need to embrace a more evolved sensibility.
And my response is – YES! We must ditch Religion. It is impotent…while being capable of enslaving innocent people. It is misguided – and incapable of solving humanity’s problems. Just like Humanism. Or the worship of Science (Scientism). These things do not even scratch the surface of humanity’s need.
Running to Jesus.
No Other Name can break the struggle we have in our lives with destructive behaviours.
No Other Name can give us hope for the future.
No Other Name can unite different peoples from disparate cultures
There is No Other Name we can go to to receive unconditional love and acceptance…and a forgiveness that transforms our lives from the inside out.
No wonder then that when Christians from 61 nations gather together, the barriers drop and the competitiveness dissolves. Because we can’t help but celebrate the life changing presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. And when it all comes down to it – our mission is to lift him up. To be the unique person he has made us to be – to employ the creativity he has gifted us with…to enjoy togetherness.
To worship Jesus.
The Church of Jesus Christ – in all it’s nationalities, thumb prints, flavours and varieties. We are the hope of the world.
“May the grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14, NLT