I just discovered this series of three letters by Nathan Crankfield of Seeking with Excellence that I’d love to share with you today. He writes one To my dear white family and friends, another To my dear black family and friends, and a third To my dear fellow Christians. I found them all to be insightful reading and recommend you read all three, but if you only read one, I’d recommend the 3rd To my dear fellow Christians.
Nathan writes from his own experience as a convert (the first Catholic in his family), a bi-racial man, an US Army Ranger, and man of faith in active ministry. He helps me answer a question I’ve been asking over the past six weeks – “What should the Church being doing right now?”
This paragraph sums up the answer to that question, so I’m going to quote it in full.
We are supposed to be masters of the gray areas because even when things are confusing, tense, and volatile, our mission doesn’t change. The world is experiencing a pandemic, what should we do? Make disciples of all nations. The country is erupting in protests against racism, what should we do? Make disciples of all nations. Your mission has not changed. You are called, better yet you are commanded, by the King of Kings to meet people where they are, help them remove obstacles in their mind, body, and/or soul, and lead them closer to Jesus. This is your life’s criteria for success: how well did you love other people?
We are supposed to be living our our mission. Our Mission is quite simply this: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” We are called to live the Gospel to the fullest. This means we mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who are rejoicing, share the message of love with those who don’t know, and stand up for those who are most vulnerable.
It’s time to focus on our mission – in our Churches and in our Homes. We should be able to answer this question in the affirmative: “Will this lead people closer to Jesus?” If the answer is no, the evaluate your intentions, your actions, and your approach. There are three paragraphs toward the end of that third letter that are giving me my marching orders this week … they start with these three sentences: “I have found that most people today are living on one end of two extremes” and “On the other hand…” and “As usual, virtue here is somewhere in between.”