The following letter was an email sent to Cru staff members by Steve Sellers, the U.S. National Director.
It has been an eventful week for our nation. I’ve waited a few extra days to write so I could process what has been taking place as I ask the Lord for insight.
While the country has experienced a full range of emotion, what is most striking to me is the depth of the fear, uncertainty and loss of hope that many are experiencing. It is sobering and it breaks my heart to know there are tangible reasons for these emotions.
The past week has reminded me that we are treading new ground in Cru. For decades we’ve been largely homogeneous, both ethnically and culturally. By God’s grace, and in answer to much prayer, we are changing. God is blessing Cru with an ever-increasing diversity that reflects His heart for oneness, invites us to live out the gospel more fully and allows us to better fulfill our mission of calling people to Jesus.
The broader spectrum of how the election was perceived within Cru was not just across ethnic lines. It was also across generational lines. This wider range of responses raises the question, “How should we then live…together?”
Because we are Kingdom citizens, we have the privilege of seeing the world from an eternal perspective and the power to have it permeate our daily behavior.
This means that the values of the upside-down Kingdom, laid out in the scriptures and confirmed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, are the values we prioritize and pursue. Among many issues, we hear our King inviting us to, “…Go into all the world and preach the gospel”; “…do justice, love mercy and walk humbly”; “…be holy for I am holy”; “…turn the other cheek and go the extra mile”; “…make disciples”; “…care for widows and orphans.” In all of this we are reminded that party platforms and politicians do not command our allegiance. Jesus does.
It also means that, as citizens of the Kingdom, we do these things in relationship to one another. We move toward one another in humility and empathy. We step into each other’s world and listen. We allow the differing emotions and experiences of another to seep into the places in our hearts where we understand and embrace one another as more important than ourselves.
One blogger reminded me this week that among the twelve disciples were Simon, the zealot, and Matthew, the tax collector. He writes, “One disciple thought war with Rome was the best course of action. The other thought complicity with Rome was wiser.”
It would have been interesting to watch Jesus interact with them during heated conversations around the campfire. I’m pretty sure that He would have called them to see beyond their personal philosophies to a Kingdom and a relationship that was foreign to both of them. On a side note, our modern-day version of the campfire is social media. In the dissonance that surrounds our social media campfire may we live out kingdom values as we “let no unwholesome word proceed from our mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification…so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Each of us is part of the “royal priesthood” God is building, from a disparate cross section of unlikely people. We hold in common our individual rebellion against Him, and His unimaginable forgiveness for us. Beyond that, we are the unique products of our experience and brokenness. Yet the end game is that together, we “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
In the midst of the hurt and pain taking place in our nation, may God give us the ability to reflect His glory in our humble and compassionate love for one another. I believe it will create a picture for which the world has no explanation and I am deeply grateful for the privilege of painting it alongside you.
U.S. National Director