In just two years we've achieved some amazing things. As we look forward, we remember where we've come from and the wins along the way.
I don’t know about you, but more than ever before I desperately need a movement like Common Grace to inspire me to keep pursuing justice.
I am grateful to have been part of the team that helped set up Common Grace a few years ago, but to be honest at the time it felt utterly inappropriate to presume we knew what a Christian movement of justice could look like. Who were we to suggest things could be different? What did we have to offer? Would people even respond? But that place of feeling inadequate and powerless, that place is precisely where a movement like Common Grace needed to start.
You see, we are a movement of Christians who believe in a better way – the way of Jesus. We believe that as we speak, think and act more like Jesus, God will move us to the margins of society, proximate us with the vulnerable and inspire us to stand with them in confronting and overcoming the injustice that holds them back.
As a movement we seek to build power so that we may have influence to impact the issues that concern us. But the crazy notion behind Common Grace is that the way we seek to build power is through powerlessness. Our model of engagement comes from our nonviolent Lord who broke the ultimate injustice by submitting to death at the hands of those he came to save, and powerfully breaking death’s hold through his sacrifice and resurrection.
The way of Jesus is power through vulnerability, and we too are called to engage in our world with this same posture, to break injustice through service and sacrifice.
This has been a sobering thought for me over the last six months as I’ve taken on the reigns of Common Grace from our founding director, Jarrod McKenna. To presume my privilege or my experience somehow gives me a platform to pursue justice on behalf of others is to miss the point. Instead I’ve learnt as I’ve met with Aboriginal Christian leaders, as I have heard from survivors of domestic violence, as I have grieved the state of God’s beautiful creation, that God calls us to pursue justice alongside the powerless.
And now, more than ever before, our world is in need of God’s common grace.
We are becoming increasingly polarised, and in response too many are retreating into safe, comfortable, familiar echo chambers that lead to exclusion and derision of those who see things differently to us. Rather than generously opening our homes, we are fiercely closing our borders. Instead of stewarding God’s beautiful creation, we’re increasingly harming it. As our neighbour sits beaten on the road to Damascus, too many of us are crossing to the other side of the road.
We believe in a better way – the way of Jesus – and your commitment to be involved is needed now, more than ever. We are a movement made up of thousands of Christian who together believe things can be different, that Christians can be champions for justice across our country, that we can be know for our generosity, our grace, our compassion, for our likeness to Jesus.
But to be honest, we are a movement funded by you. We operate on super-lean budgets which are stretched wide to reach our ambitious goals, but we’re not there yet for 2017. We get that a big part of this is living in faith that God will provide, and our story is a testament to his goodness in this regard, which is why we’d invite your support. The best way is to become a monthly supporter, but we’d also welcome a one-off contribution to support our work this year.
I am praying that 2017 will be a year when, even as many are closing their doors, Christians will be keeping theirs open. That we’d be bursting our filter bubbles and engaging with those who think differently to us, that we may hear from and stand alongside those experiencing injustice rather than speak on their behalf. I’m praying that we may together know and practise the power of powerlessness that is marked by Jesus – because God knows we need this now, more than ever.
Grace and peace,
CEO, Common Grace