Recently I took a week-long class at Trinity Seminary in Chicago called Studies in Reconciliation by a Korean-American, Dr. Kang. Initially, the class focused on the reconciliation that God has made possible to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Then we moved on to think about how this “vertical reconciliation” inherently works out with “horizontal reconciliation” between various human groups.
During the week, I was reminded that our human reconciliation has an eschatological component. That is, we look forward to the day when all conflict will end. We look forward with hope that God has not only ended the conflict we humans have with our Creator through the work of Jesus, but He is also working toward the day when all peoples will be reconciled together. God is taking us to a place of full healing in which our humanity is restored as He intended in the very beginning.
I see glimpses of that future now at my church, New City, each week as we come together from various ethnic background to worship Jesus together. Brazilian, Nigerian, American, Korean, Macedonian, Italian, Kenyan, Iraqi, and more share life together as followers of Jesus at New City.
This reconciliation is not just an absence of conflict. As far as I know, there’s never been a conflict between Brazil and Korea and Italy (other than the football pitch!) But now, as people from these countries worship Jesus together, their lives are enriched in a way that just can’t happen while living apart.
This way of “doing church” isn’t always easy or simple. Sometimes it would be easier if everyone at New City was just like me. But, just as our taste buds would be less colourful if we missed out on Korean kimchi, Brazilian BBQ, or Italian pasta, our lives are less colourful without the variety of cultures we have at New City.
My prayer is that the Holy Spirit continues to build New City into something more colourful than any of us could ever imagine.
And may Jesus get the glory as we worship, live, and enjoy each other together as the body of Christ called New City Church.