Canadian Council of Churches - 75 Years

Rev Dr Arnold Neufeldt-Fast, Mennonite Church Canada

Christians point to an invitation from a God who creates, sustains, and redeems his creation. It is an invitation for a relationship with a God who reveals himself as personal and loving. Christians over generations have confessed: “Our hearts are not at rest until they rest in you.” Christians have discovered that true peace and joy is only found in relation with the God who wants us to live at peace with him, our world and one another.

The invitation is also to become a follower of the one scripture identifies as God’s own self-revelation, Jesus Christ. Christ confronted the powers that fracture our world and has overcome them with suffering love. He is ushering in a new heaven and new earth, and invites us to follow him and to work with “the grain of the universe.” This includes a commitment to overcome societal divisions (race, nation, gender), to watch and care for each other, especially the poor and needy, and to learn to love war no more.

It is an invitation into Christ’s new community and new politics, to self-identify as “resident aliens” for the sake of this world which God loves. There is a cost: God’s invitation disturbs the configuration of our beliefs, primary loyalties, and behaviour, and calls for repentance and transformation.  But with that comes the gift: God’s own personal presence, his Holy Spirit, who helps us to live into this invitation in obedience and service, to liberate us from the compulsions that disfigure us and our society, and to open the door to the joy of God’s reign, eternally.