Rev Bob Mitchell, CEO of Anglican Overseas Aid, explores how the "pure in heart" will see God unfiltered, openly, without shame, knowing him, and being known by him.
Just under two years ago, Common Grace was established with a goal to resource and mobilise the Church to look more like Jesus. As we confront the horrors of domestic violence, work to provide safe refuge to those seeking asylum, face a rapidly changing climate, seek recognition for Australia's first peoples, and seek to uphold the rights of those in our community who are marginalised, Jesus' gracious and compassionate approach is needed now more than ever.
And now, as Common Grace prepares for the years ahead, I'm humbled to join the team as Common Grace's CEO.
I've loved this organisation from its inception, and have always been challenged and inspired about our mission to passionately love Jesus, celebrate the beauty of God's people and his creation, and give our lives generously to the cause of justice. My own faith journey started at a young age in church, and over the decades, as I've led and served in ministries, non-profits and social businesses, I've longed to see the Church truly live out its call to love and serve our community—that we may be known to look more like Jesus.
More like Jesus.
It's a simple prayer, but it has radical implications. And I've got to be honest, I struggle with it. Too often I find myself choosing a lifestyle of convenience over one of sustainability, or catch myself crossing the road when I see my neighbour in need. Or I've not allowed the news of injustice to break my heart and move me to respond. To truly live more like Jesus costs us everything, but Jesus taught us that only by giving up our lives, can we hope to gain them (Mt 10:39). For me, as with many in our community, Common Grace has called me deeper into that mission, to truly live out the gospel in my own life and go beyond the comfortable, pursuing what may be inconvenient, and loving others unconditionally, knowing that He first first loved us.
And this is what we plan to keep doing.
We're currently preparing new resources and exciting upcoming campaigns and I'm excited about the opportunity that we will have, as a community, to put Jesus' teachings about neighbour love into practice. Together, we will seek to example radical hospitality and embrace of those who are different to us, to champion the voices of those who have been pushed to the margins, and to wholeheartedly care for God's beautiful creation.
I'm excited at what is ahead for our movement, as we further resource and equip the Church to be a recognisable expression of God's love and compassion in society. My prayer is that the we, as the Church and through our churches, would express the beauty, generosity and justice fully revealed in Jesus that God extends to all, that we may each live more like Jesus.