By my best understanding of how
we can reasonably observe such matters,
the Jesus-movement multiplied more throughout the world
in the last century than in all previous centuries combined.
This creates an opportunity for Jesus’ people
in this century that is greater than ever
All around the globe now, local Jesus-followers seek to reach out with genuine service to share Jesus’ love in their own culture. This means we can now partner with Jesus’ followers almost anywhere in the world, who can lead effectively in sharing Jesus’ hope in their specific cultural context.
Partnership is one of the most significant opportunities of this time.
Partnership is relationship – personal, caring, respectful, across all boundaries.
Partnership is exhibiting Jesus’ way of loving community among his brothers and sisters of all groups and cultures.
Partnership encourages all Jesus’ followers to share his hope for renewal in all dimensions of life in their social and cultural communities.
Such partnership service seeks to offer the good news of Jesus’ renewal for whole persons, into all wider circles of people seeking hope in this world.
Such service partners with all of Jesus’ people everywhere, to bring his love, compassionate justice, and caring wisdom into their society for healing their culture.
In all these ways, such partnership is an exciting dynamic that embodies and lives out a wide range of essential priorities in Jesus’ whole kingdom-coming all-renewing mission (see Matt 4-12, 25, 28; Luke 4; John 3; James; 1 John 4; Revel 5, 21-22; etc.).
I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll of history and to look into its meaning.
Then I saw… a Lamb standing as if it had been sacrificed…
He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne.
The living creatures and the elders fell before the Lamb, holding harps and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of Jesus’ people.
They sing a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were sacrificed and by your blood
you ransomed for God
believers from every tribe and language
and people and culture –
and you have made them to be a kingdom and priests
serving our God…
– Revelation 5 (my translation, with the NRSV and NIV)
Globalization makes wider partnership more possible in our time. This is an opportunity for more personal community and joint service over longer distances than ever before. Globalized relationship-building with true partnership needs to be a major initiative among all Jesus’ people today, to bring Jesus’ renewing hope into all cultures. So this is a call for humble, caring, encouraging partnership among Jesus’ followers throughout all cultures!
To help enable us into next steps in this direction, I am especially calling attention here to a recent documentary film highlighting this opportunity today. Christopher Brands, founder of Fated Light Films, is a post-production engineer, serving in the film industry in Los Angeles, and has created several documentaries. His most recent film, REACH, vividly portrays the exciting life and work of the Roma people and their leaders in Europe. What we see in these Roma believers is as profoundly Jesus-minded, loving, and strategic as any service for Jesus’ in the world today! And all of us could benefit from a strong dose of hope right now.
In the process, this film also describes how Jesus’ people of other cultures can partner with these Roma believers to serve the excellent work they are doing among their own people and culture. This film provides one of the most dynamic visions of what partnership is, needs to be, and can be among Jesus’ followers of multiple cultures, that I have ever experienced.
I urgently encourage you to view this film, REACH. You can walk through this compelling story in less than a half hour while eating dinner or relaxing some evening. As you do, let it seed the call to partnership into your heart. And don’t miss the powerful reflections by which Chris Brands himself introduces this documentary and its vision for humble, serving, loving partnerships. In addition, he and his partner organization in this film project highlight a moving honor to “Rama’s Legacy.”
You can find all this and view this film on the site of Fated Light Films.
God so loved the world… God is love!
Then I saw a new heaven and new earth…
and the tree of life…
at the middle of the great street of the city…
and the leaves of the tree
are for the healing of the cultures.
John 3; 1 John 4; Revelation 21, 22