This ain’t no Kumbayah
(Unless we get sentimental)
Our story is messy, like working with charcoal. When Jesus was on trial, St. Peter denied knowing him not once, but three times. Peter wept bitterly, alone in his failure, as Christ was crucified. Yet after the resurrection we discover the most beautiful scene. Peter isn’t alone, he is with Jesus. They are sharing breakfast on the shores of Galilee. Jesus meets Peter with love, forgiveness, and most of all grace. As grace gets into Peter’s bones and settles in his soul, his calling is renewed: Jesus sends him out into the world to share this good, beautiful, and entirely true story of resurrection, love, forgiveness, and most of all grace.
Jesus is renewing everything for the glory of God—even Vancouverites.
We understand there are a lot of theories about who Jesus was: a good man, a teacher, a self-deluded prophet, an exaggeration of his disciples’ imagination or even non-existent (which is just silly). A distinctly different answer is given by the writers of Scripture. One of the simplest answers is that Jesus is Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, entered into the world and became one of us. The one who made the heavens and the earth dragged a tree that he made (and that humanity fashioned into a cross) through the dirt of the earth, and there he was crucified. He died on two crooked beams in ancient Rome, not by accident, but according to plan. He came into the world to seek and save all that is lost, to die to forgive us for all our sins and reconcile us to God, and to save us from everything that tarnishes, pollutes, and distorts us and God’s good creation. But that is not the end of the story, because death could not hold him. Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and he is still alive: even now.
Abraham Kuyper once said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ does not cry, ‘Mine!'” We believe this cry includes our city. Vancouver is already a beautiful city, filled with wonderful people from innumerable cultures from all around the world. But even amidst all that can be celebrated about Vancouver cracks still cut through our city, beauty is still misdirected, and hearts still need mending. It’s the hurt, isolation, loneliness, confusion, and the spiritual devastation which marks Vancouver that fuels our hearts and imaginations with what could be.
God is reconciling the entire universe, all that exists, all of it. God is taking all the chaos, the disruption, the pain and hurt, the injustice and suffering, and is ordering it, calming it and mending it. When Jesus returns, he will make all things new. While we wait for this good day to come, we live as citizens of God’s kingdom and as signs of a different way of life. We walk in the ways of Jesus as we seek to love and serve each other, our neighbours, our city, our province, our nation, other nations, all of creation, and even our enemies.
What God ultimately has in mind for us and his universe is infinitely more beautiful and incomprehensibly more satisfying than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves. While words fail us in attempting to describe God’s glory, His glory will never fail us. When we arrive on eternity’s shore the Triune God will be our greatest satisfaction and joy. Our hearts will never exhaust the depths and riches of God’s love. Our eyes will never bore of his beauty. When God’s glory fills the earth, everything will finally be right.
Under Authority, Default to Prayer, Interdependence, Integrated Faith, and Joy of Salvation.
Our values were born and are raised by our people. They are inspired by our vision and help us navigate decisions as a Church, and they shape and form each of us as individuals. We do value many things as a community, but our core values help us stay focused on our unique calling as St. Peter’s Fireside.
We are citizens of the kingdom of God, not culture, led by Jesus through his Word, Spirit, and Church.
Default to Prayer
We desire prayer to be as natural as breathing, because we encounter God more deeply through it.
We need each other because every Christian plays an important part in the body.
From our heads and hearts down to our feet, in our homes and work and everywhere in-between, Jesus transforms every part of our lives.
Joy of Salvation
The gospel isn’t just news, it’s really good news! And it always comes to us on it’s way to somebody else.