Succour for lost souls
"I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." John 10.16
Veterans of revival testify to an abiding sense of joy and profound concern for the lost. This is essential for, without one, it would seem indulgent and, without the other, gloomy. Even more importantly, it reflects the Lord's own attitude: radiant with love and determined to embrace the lost sheep of Israel and those beyond the fold. The key lies in his death and resurrection through which sin and its consequences were defeated and the prospect of eternal life made real.
In this new reality all the old divisions separating God, people and creation from each other, occasioned by "the fall", are superseded in favour of universal reconciliation. That is why, in Galatians, Paul proclaims no more Jews or Gentiles, male or female, slaves or free. Of course all of these still exist - but no longer in opposition or in false hierarchy - all are one, equally loved, equally precious to God and to one another.
Holy Communion is the sign and the seal. In breaking bread we remember Jesus' sacrifice. In partaking of the feast we take our places around his table of reconciliation. In celebrating the new relationship we enjoy with God and with one another, we commit to being agents of reconciliation in the world - operating, not in our own strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit. This means our work is not simply about brokering a truce. Rather, through our witness, we bring Christ into our communities and we introduce our communities to Christ.