Hi. The hopes expressed about the “world I want to live in” suggest a desire to live in God’s fully realized kingdom. (Or realm.) One line in particular offers this aspiration:

  • The world is a place of honesty, love, and care

I would like that too, and to some extent that is the world I live in. Many people in my world, including those who read these words live that way  for the most part. But I also live in a world with much lying, fear, and selfishness. That is the world to which we have been called. Worse yet, I find some elements of dishonesty, fear and selfishness still come out of my mind and mouth. We are placed in a “sinful and broken world.” It is the world for which Christ died, the world he loves, and the world we are called to love and serve as well. So for me, vitality in the church includes embracing sinners, including ourselves. It includes much giving and receiving of mercy. It includes keeping hope, when hope seems unrealistic. It includes faith, even, and especially, when the world does not honor faith. It includes perseverance, even through the slough of despond and the valley of the shadow of death. To be vital is to be alive with a liveliness that even death cannot overcome. For Christ is risen.

Jim Boston+

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