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God’s original creation was good
and whole

The broken world we now live in is not the way it’s supposed to be. Stricken with disease, greed, perversion, and violence, our world has come a long way from the goodness and wholeness of the first garden.

God’s undying desire is to heal creation and put the world back to rights

This is the theme that dominates scripture. The Hebrew prophets spoke of God working to restore shalom, a word loaded with significance meaning “universal wholeness and delight.” Shalom is God’s holistic and comprehensive peace extended to all nations, restoring justice to a war-torn earth and reversing all systems of oppression that contradict God’s peace. Shalom expresses the loving intentions of the Creator God to bring all people and creation back into loving relationship with himself.

Jesus came preaching the
gospel of the kingdom of God

This was the burning message of his life; he speaks of the kingdom over 90 times in the gospels. Intimately connected with shalom, the kingdom of God is where God’s desires and dreams are sought, where God reigns and creation flourishes. Jesus not only preached the kingdom of God, he demonstrated it in his life, death, and resurrection.

The kingdom was breaking into the world through the person of
Jesus Christ

Contrary to all human understanding, on the cross Jesus defeated sin, death, and the satanic; and emerging from the empty tomb with Jesus was a whole new creation. One day Jesus will return and reclaim the world and rule forever. With a fresh act of grace he will complete God’s new creation.

It is within God’s mission of putting the world back to rights that the church finds her identity

The church is the Easter community sent into the world and given the spirit of Jesus to continue his ministry. As a foretaste of new creation the church lives as God’s new humanity before a watching world; and as God’s instrument the church doesn’t build the kingdom, she builds for the kingdom. The church lives with the subversive memory of Jesus as she anticipates the day when Christ will appear again to bring an end to injustice and restore wholeness. On that day, God will fully answer her prayer for the kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

The living God invites us to enter this story

He is inviting us to take part in redemptive history and join in his mission of spreading shalom and building for the kingdom.

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