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This is the second in the series about Sharing in Community of Christ: Exploring Identity, Mission, Message and Beliefs. For background see the August 12 column.
“We Share… a Vision for Creation”
Into any discussion or experience we all bring our own past experiences, knowledge and opinions. Have you ever noticed that? What do you interpret from the word “vision” in the title above? What do you interpret from the word “creation”? If I could hear responses from all of you who are reading this, I expect that I would hear some ideas in common, but I also expect that I would hear many different ideas as well. “Vision” to different people might mean a powerful dream-like experience in which a message from God is received; or it might mean a guiding idea or principle; or it might mean the ability to see clearly whatever is in front of us. “Creation” might conjure majestic views of mountains or oceans or other landscapes or wildlife; or it might mean the processes through which God brought the universe into being; or it might mean everything around us that is a visible part of God’s universe: land, sea, animals, insects, marine life, all manner of plants and vegetation, humanity in all of its diversity, and all the stars and planets that populate the vastness of space beyond our world.
All of those perspectives (and there will undoubtedly be others) are reasonable and valid. So what does it mean to “share a Vision for Creation” in the Community of Christ context? Two significant symbols help with this explanation. First, the empty Christian cross represents the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who, in all of those manifestations, proclaimed peace for those who followed his teachings and example and for all people in the future reign of God on earth. Second, the church’s “peace seal” represents the lion laying down with the lamb and both being led by a child as described in the book of Isaiah 11:6-9. This symbolizes the church’s faith and belief in a world in which all of creation can exist in a state and attitude of peace.
Our text expresses it this way: “The purpose of the church is to form disciples who faithfully share the gospel of peace in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Sharing in…, p. 10) It is that purpose that will be reflected and restated and applied to all of the other “We Share” statements that we will consider in future weeks.
May we see ourselves in our own personal, faithful, and action-oriented expression of “We share a vision for creation.”
I pray for you God’s blessings of understanding, hope, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
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