Salvation is an important word in the story of our faith. It’s origins are in words like healing, wholeness, deliverance (from that which gets in the way of our well being), rescue, and restoration. In the larger narrative of our faith salvation is directly connected to the Israelite deliverance from slavery, it’s journey in the wilderness, and its entrance into the promise land. In our Wesleyan tradition this idea is placed in the context of the restoration of God’s image in all of humanity and a call to becoming and being instruments of a new creation.
“As followers of Jesus Christ, we seek through the power of the Holy Spirit to do what he says to do, go where he leads, welcome those whom he loves and for whom he died, participate in the community he forms, and anticipate his final reign over all creation.” Kenneth Carder & Laceye Warner in Grace to Lead: Practicing Leadership in the Wesleyan Tradition (p. 10)
As we continue telling our story again we must keep the reality of salvation at the forefront. In other words, this story exist because it is a salvation story. We tell it again in order for a new generation to hear it, claim it, and live it.
So we are indeed the V.O.I.C.E that cries out. For we are a people who know what is like to be in bondage, slaves to our own desires, drowning in our self delusions, broken in our relationships with God, others, and creation. We cry out not as victors (Jesus is the one and only victor) but as humble servants, not as ones who have the answers but as those who acknowledge that we indeed do not have the answers, not as ones who judge others but as those who engage others in loving and restorative relationships.
I am often reminded of the power of love to transform lives. Love is the heart of sanctification as we become set apart as a body that comes together to discern, interpret, and proclaim. This requires real engagement so that we are able to weave the story with our story and the story of others. It also requires constant attention to the movements and voice of the Spirit for it “blows all around us as if it has a will of its own; we feel and hear it, but we do not understand where it has come from or where it will end up.” John 3:8 (The Voice)
So let’s continue praying for that God will give us a courageous and loving voice so that all those that hear us will experience God’s salvation!