The power of church

Our world greatly needs that which gives meaning to church—the presence and the activity of Christ, Truth.

During times of racial tension, war, or other major challenges, churches have often taken moral stands that have pointed toward a higher concept of brotherhood and of God. At their best, churches have stood not just for social action—important as that is—but for the deeply spiritual basis that informed Christ Jesus' life and works.

This appeal to a more spiritual view of life often brings people together because it helps them to see beyond their personal—and sometimes petty—differences. Jesus' own followers were sometimes confused about who he actually was and the universal nature of his mission, and bickered among themselves over small and personal considerations. They argued about who would be the greatest among them. This attitude tended to hide from them the spiritual reality that Jesus' teachings were making plain.

Of course, the disciples were not the only ones who were confused about who Jesus was. There was widespread speculation as to whether he was the expected Messiah, who would save Israel. The healings he performed, the strength of his teachings, and his radical vision of God's presence in our lives certainly gave plenty of cause for comment. Yet Jesus wasn't concerned with popular opinion and speculation. He knew who he was and what he was about. But his followers did need to become clear about his mission. At every occasion he endeavored to help them see something of the spiritual basis on which he was acting. And he finally asked them, point-blank, who people were saying that he was.

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Second Thought
August 3, 1992

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