In his book ‘The Audacity Of Hope’ (2006) Barack Obama tells how, after graduating from Columbia University, he took a job as a community organiser for a group of churches in Chicago that were grappling with the economic fallout from nearby factory closures. He writes:
“The Christians with whom I worked recognised themselves in me. They saw that I knew their Book and shared their values and sang their songs. But they sensed that a part of me remained removed, detached, an observer among them. I came to realise that without an unequivocal commitment to a particular community of faith, I would be consigned at some level to always remain apart.”
By the time he reached his late 20s, Obama was able to write:
“I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptised. It came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.”
During February on Sunday mornings we will be looking at the church in Corinth, and allowing their experiences to inspire and challenge us to be the people God wants us to be. Though certainly not without it’s problems, the Corinthian church came to realise the fundamental importance of being all that God had called them to be, following Jesus in baptism and dedicating themselves to one another in covenant relationship.
Like them, and like Barack Obama, we too are called to commitment to Christ and covenant community through baptism and church membership. If you would like to know more about either, please do speak to me.
Faversham Baptist Church is a ‘particular community of faith’, where each of us is encouraged to rejoice in our faith and work for God’s kingdom with the ‘audacity of hope’. Thank you for being a part of it!