The Church's hymn of praise
The Church is the original example of global inclusiveness. Men and women from every country and ethnic background are positively welcomed to join in.
Jesus commanded his disciples to carry the Good News about him to every people and to bring them into the abundant new life which is uniquely Christian (Matthew 28) and indeed declares that the end of this period of history will not come until (by His measure) every people have heard (Matthew 24).
Not only is the church to be a comprehensive community of all peoples, but all are to join it on equal terms, overcoming the ethnic and social distinctions which have divided human society in all other situations and in all ages.
This equality covers us all: whether we come from societies in which God has been active since antiquity (such as the Jews), or countries which he has given such material abundance, and a strong Christian heritage (Europeans and North Americans), or peoples amongst whom the Church has only grown in recent times (Chinese and Indians, Africans and Latins).
The differences in our personal and national histories and characteristics are insignificant in comparison to our unity as undeserving sinners saved by His Grace alone.
This is not to say that our differences don’t matter. God has created humanity with enormous diversity. Most of us are still discovering how diverse our fellow-humans are, and how diverse can be our expression of our faith in God through Christ.
This goes to the heart of God’s desire that his Church should incorporate people from every background. There are many thousands of languages in the world, and many thousands of separate cultures. Every one of them has something unique to contribute in worship of the Living God.
And the Church is not complete, and not able to fulfil her purpose in eternity, until it includes every part of that complex, diverse whole. One voice missing, one people not reached, means the church is incomplete; its life and its voice in the world and its worship diminished by that lack.
As members of the Body of Christ, we too are incomplete whilst other members of the Body are not yet present. The song of praise which we give to God is incomplete while it is missing some important notes.
This goes too to the heart of WorldShare’s work. For not only is the place of every people needed in the Church, but each of those peoples have something significant and unique to offer to the task of completing the Church.
God did not give this task solely to one or other group of His people: not just to believers of Jewish descent (like those who heard His Great Commission directly as He spoke it); not to Europeans and North Americans (who have borne the burden for so long), but to every part of His Church.
Today, millions of people in all the world are inspired by the Holy Spirit to envision ways to reach their neighbours. They speak from within the culture and experience shared with their neighbours.
WorldShare exists to respect and respond to their vision, and to enable them to bring it to reality, so that together we can add those new notes to the Church’s hymn of praise.
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