Mosaic is right in the heart of the city of Vancouver - one which is both a broken heart and a heart God wants to live in. We want to be a community where this in-dwelling, and the healing it brings, can take place as the grace of God is revealed through tangible experiences and relationships. We see glimpses of the kingdom weekly, and the prayers and support of friends and other churches remains important as we long for more breakthroughs.
After a conversation about her own hurt and alienation from church, a close relative of mine recently asked me: "What is the church for? What is it supposed to do?" I began my answer by saying that Jesus came to abolish religion, not to start a new one. One of the revolutionary implications of the cross is that we cannot ever achieve or earn God's love, because it is already, unconditionally, ours. Therefore, guided and empowered by the life, example and Spirit of Jesus, I hope the church seeks to invite everyone into the knowledge of the love of God.
I relate it to a shared meal, since we often eat at Mosaic and celebrate communion each Saturday. We invite people to the table to meet and eat with us and Jesus. And of course, when we are eating together, we talk. We talk about the love, teachings and works of Jesus, all of which lead us to forgiveness, freedom, deeper friendships and always eternal life. Realizing that we are loved by God and extending that love to others does not sound all that complicated.
Oh, but the outworking of that vision is deeply complicated. Too many of us have never experienced real love, especially our friends who live in poverty and addiction. Those who spend the majority of their time being pushed aside or ignored, alone and on the margins of society, are fairly convinced that they are on the margins of God's attentions, too. It's all too easy for any of us to believe that no one loves us or cares, including God. We all resist God's love this way. We all create ways of striving, coping and living without the love and grace we were created to exist in.
This is one of the reasons why we love being with our friends in Mosaic, those whose brokenness is often so unmasked. This way, they reflect our common brokenness and confront us with how many of us are just better at covering it up. As a diverse community, we are stumbling along together, hopefully toward living more fully in the love and grace of God that we were all created for.