Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kainos Community

We believe that God created ethnic diversity and that he loves it.  Jesus Christ makes it possible for people who are really different from one another to come together and experience amazing fellowship!  For the Glory of God, Cru at Cornell is a distinctively multi-ethnic community.   

Pastor (and author) Bryan Lorritts has been a huge influenced me tremendously on this topic of multi-ethnic Churches.  His message at Wheaton College titled "The Multiethnic Church as the Cure to Ferguson, Charleston and Beyond" is amazing!  

Although world history is full of division, warfare, oppression and a whole lot of racial tension, we believe there is a better way.  Things are not as they should be; God did not create mankind to devour and destroy each other!  But our disregard for God and his perfect ways, (what the Bible calls "sin") is the reason everything in the world and in our lives is so messed up!  

Sin creates animosity between man and God and also between people.  Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again in order to defeat sin and make the way for people to be reconciled back to God.  Jesus' victory over sin also enables mankind to enjoy communion with one another.   The gospel bonds people together like nothing else can.  

In Ephesians chapter 2 Paul is explaining the amazing community that God's grace makes possible.  He says that Christ's sacrifice on the cross actually "Killed the hostility" that existed between Jews and Gentiles.  Being brought together in Christ, people from different backgrounds and cultures were able to experience profound unity!   
In verse 15 Paul says that God  "created, in himself, one new man in place of the two..."  The greek word for new in that verse, is the word Kainos.  Kainos is the word used to describe something that's never been seen before; Kainos implies something that is unprecedented and revolutionary!  God's grace breaks into our racially fractured world and brings a new and beautiful peace.  Through Jesus we can have access to the Father through the Spirit. 

One of the things that makes Cornell so special are the cultural and ethnic demographics.  It’s amazing!   Cornell has people from every U.S. state, students from a wide array of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and students that are literally from countries all around the world.  Even still, the natural tendency of people is to "silo" themselves into cultural and sub-cultural enclaves. Generally speaking, most people hang out and share life only with people who are very much like themselves; they are not truly experiencing the blessing of cross-cultural interaction. Sadly, even among Christians in the Church this has historically been the case. As a ministry, we strive for something different! We actively embrace the glorious opportunity to live out the kind of intercultural "togetherness" that is completely out of the ordinary.

God loves the world and is at work re-connecting a diverse collection of people to himself. In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John gets a vision of heaven where he sees, gathered around the throne of almighty God, a unified family of Christ exalting worshipers. He sees a gathering of people from "every nation, tribe, people and language." When someone comes to one of our Friday night meetings we want them get a glimpse of heaven! We want our inter-cultural fellowship to be an overt display of the power that the gospel has to bless and unite all kinds of people! In and through every part of our ministry, we want the peace making, transformational power of God's grace to be tangible and active on this campus! Being a part of Cru means coming together and sharing life with people who are different. It means uniting in worship and in mission so that "all the families of the earth will be blessed."

(Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:11-22, Revelation 7:9, Genesis 12:3)

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