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We are the church: the end is not ours

   
 


“We are the church.”

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July 15, 2011
-Dave Rogalsky,Canadian Mennonite, Eastern Canada Correspondent

Waterloo, ONT. — “We are the church!” declared Willard Metzger, General Secretary, inviting progressively younger age groups to join with him in an ever louder cheer.

“Being the church is not easy. In fact, there is little that is more difficult than being the church,” he continued. His statements marked the beginning of an outdoor worship service in Waterloo Park, July 6, 2011, part of Mennonite church Canada Assembly 2011.

Painting the picture of what the church is facing today, Metzger turned to the text from Revelation 21. The church of the 1st century was also having a difficult time. He wondered out loud if John the Revelator despaired, away from his community, worried about how things were going there. Did John remember Jesus’ cry from the cross and contextualize it: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken us?”

But, in spite of  difficulty, and challenge, Metzger told the congregation, “This is not the end!”

“The book of Revelation is not an easy message. John was not telling the church to relax and that everything would be fine.” In fact, Metzger continued, were there some who expected the church to be obliterated?

“Would faith drown in the blood of the martyrs?” He wondered out loud if some in our “post modern, post Christendom context . . . entertain the same thoughts”? But this is not the end. God is not finished.

Putting his faith in God at work in our youth he said, “The youth will be the church who will speak the unthinkable and risk doing the unimaginable.”

God, through the Spirit is filling us with courage and hope for the task ahead. This is not the end, and the end belongs to God. “It is God who will determine the end.” Revelation makes it clear that no matter what happens in the world, God is in charge. “For now we struggle, swimming against the current, defying the calls to abandon hope.”

The passion of God to restore and make things right in the world will always rise up within the hearts of God’s people.

“We are the church.”