Hope has primary colors…

…and those colors aren’t personal peace and prosperity (“give me my stuff and leave me alone”), individualism, and “heaven when I die.” Or perhaps I should say, those aren’t God’s primary colors.  I love how God has taken all the complexity of religion, and boiled it down to the essence, down to three imperatives, three colors:

Do justice – like my friends at International Justice Mission who are working to end human slavery, or my friend Walter who’s saving women out of slavery in Ghana, or my friend Eugene, with his One Day’s Wages campaign, or our church’s Spilling Hope campaign.

Love mercy – like Gahigi, whose story is told in this movie.  He’s lost 142 family members to the Rwandan genocide, and yet, he’s now not only forgiven the perpetrators, he’s become a pastor who mediates reconciliation between perpetrators and victims in Rwanda.  I met him this winter, and he’s one of the most joyful men I’ve met, wealthy in ways we simply don’t understand.  The Mentoring Project is another picture of the color of mercy.

Walk humbly with God – With  the debt and dollar crises, war and terror, unemployment and loneliness, it’s terribly easy to get caught in a web of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety these days.  Others just withdraw, waiting for Jesus to come fix it all. I’m convinced that those who are yoked with their Creator are granted gifts, insight, and capacity to live not only fearlessly, but creatively, blessing this world with the colors of hope.

It’s time for people who follow Christ to get beyond arguments about emergent church vs. neo-Calvinist, and arguments about heaven and hell.  It’s time to get beyond the polarizing language adopted from political dialogue, with people withdrawing into the their corners to shoot Bible grenades at the other side.  It’s time to move beyond our reputation as being only AGAINST things, and become a people of hope, known by our passion for justice, mercy, and intimacy.

This is what my new book, available today, is about.

There’s a better way…a better story…better colors.  Join the conversation here: click on like and download a free chapter.

The canvas of our world?  It’s waiting for the right colors.

About Richard Dahlstrom

As Pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Richard teaches with vision of "making the invisible God visible" by calling people to acts of service and blessing. It's working, as a wilderness ministry, homeless shelter, and community meals that serve those living on the margins are all pieces of Bethany's life. "We're being the presence of Christ" he says, "and inviting everyone to join the adventure." Many have, making Bethany one of the fastest growing churches in America in 2009 according to Outreach Magazine.

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  • http://www.imperfectpeople.net Katie @ Imperfect People

    Beautifully written! I love everything about your blog, simple living, loving our savior, and making a difference. Glad to find you!


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