How do you respond to the thought of “turning the world upside down?”
Like if somebody said to you, “Those people are turning the world upside down,” would you think it was good thing or a bad thing?
Well, that’s what some Thessalonians said about the followers of Jesus that Paul was leading. And when they said it, it definitely wasn’t a compliment! See, the Christians in Thessalonica were upsetting the status quo; specifically they were “saying that there is another King named Jesus” (Acts 17:7). And that ruffled more than a few feathers.
Now, I don’t think their goal was feather ruffling. I think their only goal was to follow Jesus. It’s just that the act of following him faithfully was so counter-cultural, so counter-intuitive that it was jarring for the city leaders. Following Jesus challenged their base assumptions and called their priorities into question.
Reading the story of Paul and the Thessalonians got me to thinking … is the church today still “turning the world upside down?” Are we still upsetting the status quo and ruffling feathers by proclaiming allegiance to a King named Jesus?
Over the next month, Campbell United Methodist Church is going to reflect on who we are, what we do, and why we do what we do. It is going to be called “New Vision November,” and by the end of the month I hope we have a renewed sense of our identity, an exciting vision for the future, and a deepening commitment to our patterns of discipleship.
Our entry point into “New Vision November” is going to be the church Paul started at Thessalonica. What can we reclaim from the early church? How can we draw upon the energy they felt? How might we translate the simple gospel message into language that makes sense for Springfield, Missouri in the year 2016 and beyond?
There is more information in this newsletter about the upcoming month so be sure to check that out. It all starts in worship Sunday morning, so I’ll see you then!
Let’s turn the world UPSIDE DOWN!!!