The world suffers from immediacy, selfishness, distractions, and personal achievement. We use social media, our occupations, community status, and our portfolios to lift ourselves above the competition. We use pictures and statuses to show the world how our children are better than their children. We write, like, or retweet open letters to prove that your philosophy and lifestyle are inferior. We use other people’s shoulders to stand above the work crowd for an extra promotion or raise. We will spend a little time on a lot of things so we can give the illusion of being an expert on all things. Unfortunately, the world has handed us a lie. The lie that continues to be perpetuated is that the more we rise, the better we will become and the better we become, the more we will rise. This achievement and self-glory cycle will lead us down a road of satisfaction, happiness, and success. And 90% of those who join this cycle will find a reality of emptiness, exhaustion, and discontent. The other 10% are lying.
Fortunately God has given us an undeniable truth. The truth that Jesus provided in His upside-down kingdom is this, “So the last will be first and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16) The thing that Jesus understood that we still struggle with is that when we elevate God and our relationship with Him, we will find fulfillment. It may not translate into the riches of this world, but it will translate into joy, rest, and wholeness.
In 2014 we will take our year to focus on one piece of our vision statement. The vision of the University Church of Christ is:
“At the University Church of Christ, our vision is to live as God’s family, demonstrating the love of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit in every motive, every thought, and every action.
This vision is fulfilled through our dependency on God in leading and empowering us:
• To continually pursue individual holiness in every dimension of life;
• To participate in the body of Christ, the church, so that we may both give and receive the love, the strength, and the encouragement that comes from communion in God’s family;
• To serve the poor and suffering through sacrificial living;
To teach the love of Christ both in our community and across the world.”