Bishop David Kendall (To read more from Bishop Kendall, visit<br />fmcusa.org/davidkendall.)
I’m not sure I would ever have thought of “church” if I were God. But God did, and we can all thank God that I am not God.
God did more than think. God created, redeemed, called, sent, multiplied and glorified a people God named “church.” Thus, church rises on the human landscape because God thought, created and blessed.
This amazing fact will lead us to several conclusions. For example, we must look to God to see what church is or should be. Likewise, we must measure whatever we’ve come to name and regard as “church” against what God reveals about the people who become the real church.
Within this issue of Light & Life Magazine [LLM], we consider the stunning fact that God plants a church in, let’s say, Peoria — but not only for Peoria. God calls and creates church in Peoria for the nations. Now, most of us learned this in our kindergarten Sunday school class, though like most of what we learned then, we didn’t fully grasp the message at the time or have long since forgotten it.
Indeed, at the beginning of the salvation story, God called Abram and family to receive blessing in such a way as to become the source of blessing for all the families on earth. (See Genesis 12:1–3.) At the end of the story, “church” gathers around the throne of God, and we are told that the nations are there from all places, tribes, languages and cultures. (See Revelation 7:9–10.)
Yes, the church in Peoria will be there in the glorious presence of God, demonstrating what God made it — a local expression of God being with people. The expression shares the DNA and the genius of God being with all people everywhere.
You might wonder: What on earth does that mean? Well, read on.0