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Director’s Message

Ray Jones portraitI continue to be haunted and encouraged by the Easter message. The news that Jesus was resurrected on the third day is life-changing. The news that he got up, and that not simply a part of his existence got up and walked out of that tomb, but that everything that made Jesus got up and walked out of the tomb on that third day, gives me hope. If death does not have the last word, then I can risk my life in God’s mission.

I can boldly step out and risk my life combating racism, because racism does not have the last word. I can boldly step out and risk my life to offer hope where there is absolutely no hope because hopelessness does not have the last word. I can get up and boldly step out against systems of injustice and oppression because oppression and injustice do not have the last word.
John 20:21 becomes our mission; as Jesus was sent into this world, we are being sent on the same mission.

And what does it take to be sent? Yes, it takes the power of the Holy Spirit. But it does not take another program or the right leader; it takes the church being the church. We have all we need to be sent. We are being formed as God’s people in the body of Christ.

I am grateful for the three days I spent at Princeton Seminary attending the “Biblical Formation for Witness” conference. The leaders, presentations, and conversations were thought-provoking. I especially benefited from Dr. Lisa Marie Bowens’ facilitation of a discussion around the missional implications of 2 Corinthians 5:11. God’s mission is reconciliation. We are called to be ambassadors (to be sent) in this ministry of reconciliation. In Dr. Bowens’ words, “We help people see the people around them differently.” So, what good news! And we can risk everything in service to God because Jesus got up on the third day.

Grace,

Ray Jones
Acting Director
Theology, Formation & Evangelism