Radical InclusionDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
When our family began to worship as part of our current church a few years ago, I was captivated by one of the church’s core values: “Everyone gets to play.” Our faith isn’t a spectator sport. We were all made to contribute to the Body of Christ in our unique ways. By lifting up “Everyone gets to play” as a core value, the church was committing to celebrate each other and make room for one another’s gifts. This was deeply important to me because I was weary of the pedestals and platforms, the celebrity and exclusivity that had characterized some of my experiences in church. Finding a place that valued the small ways or celebrated the everyday disciplines was refreshing.
Everyone gets to create good. Creating good is the work of every follower of Jesus. It’s not the exclusive domain of artists anymore than preaching or studying or offering wise counsel is the exclusive domain of full-time vocational ministers or pastors.
Some of the greatest good I’ve experienced in my life has been at the hands of those far away from the stages and the book contracts.
Whether our vocation is in a cubicle or a concert hall, a shop or a boardroom, we are invited to participate in the life of Christ now, to live the beautiful alternative of godly community now, to embody the prophetic challenge of Christ in our right-now walking-around lives. Wherever and however God has placed us and called us, we get to create good.
The work of goodness is a creative work, a beautiful work. Being someone who creates good transcends arguments and moral persuasions, facts and figures of dry doctrine. Goodness disarms the skeptic and the cynic.
Our way of creating good is a prophetic act, sometimes even a humble act of resistance and danger. We embody the dream of God for humanity in our right-now lives. We create good by choosing the paths of Christ. Truth is good, justice is good, beauty is good. Wherever we find ourselves in our vocation or our calling, whether we feel like we have achieved our dreams or simply achieved another day of trying, we have the precious opportunity to create good, to be a purveyor of goodness, to anoint our communities with goodness.
In fact, I believe some of the greatest good comes from surprising or hidden places. We need more goodness in these surprising and hidden places, don’t we? Whether it’s the legal aid office or the public library, the housing co-operatives or the city council, the surprise and delight of creating good, of making space for good, means that you are right where you need to be in the Kingdom of God. You can go where I can’t go. Your place is unique, your way of creating good will be unique. And that is what makes it so precious.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have you ever felt like “creating good” is for everyone else but not for you? What made you feel that way? How could you “create good” in your right-now life?
PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for the gift of radical inclusion. Thank you that we all get to play! We ask that you would open our eyes and our hearts to the opportunities that surround us every day to create good, to live prophetically into your goodness in our right-now lives. May we be quick to respond to the Spirit’s leading, however surprising or hidden our creative good may seem to others. Amen.
It takes work to create good. It takes time and energy and resources and, well, work. Somewhere along the way, you might feel discouraged or worn out or frustrated by the whole thing, so we've asked a few people in The High Calling network to talk to us about creating and cultivating good things. We hope this series, Create Good, inspires you to keep looking up, pressing on, and doing good. We pray you find the inspiration to "not grow weary in doing good." God sees your work. God knows your desire to do good, to create good, to celebrate and cultivate good in the world. God is for you. And so are we.