Being part of the CG2015 organizing team, and as the conference approached, I kept telling myself: “I’m never doing this again!” Who would know a two-day conference was so much work? But when the event ended last Saturday, still exhausted, I thought: “Let’s do this again!”
Being a Hispanic immigrant in the US has made the gospel bigger and brighter for me. It’s still the same gospel, but for some reason, the comfort of my privilege while living in Spain (my home country) didn’t allow me to see it under this light. Let me elaborate.
You could say I’ve been a Christian all my life, and still, some of the realities of the gospel were for me little more than idealistic calendar phrases. But really, how unbelievably amazing is that God, in all his glory, became an outcast from an ill-reputed city in an ill-reputed region from a woman who was rumored to have conceived out of wedlock? How deliciously non-plausible is it that the savior of the world spent his non-glamorous life surrounded by lepers, prostitutes, and unpatriotic tax-collectors? How can we walk our Christian life in order to be faithful to a God with a criminal record that earned him the death sentence? It is that sacrifice that enables us to uncomfortably and counter-culturally live for others.
That’s what Brian Fikkert and the rest of our speakers tried to convey in a day and a half of talks at CG2015. Not an easy task. Starting the conversation about God’s mandate to collaborate together for the flourishing of our city is just the first step. But we can’t talk enough about the common good, first, because it’s at the very core of the gospel, and second, because we as a church have been silent for too long. Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves. Not with a love that’s the passive absence of hate, but with an active sacrificial one, like the love we profess to God, like the love he showed for us. At the conference we got to see and hear examples of leaders putting this kind of active love into practice all around the city and beyond. It was hard not to get excited about the possibilities of entering into this calling to love our neighbors together.
If you missed CG2015, or even if you were there but you want to revisit the talks, we’ll make them available soon. It won’t be the same as live, surrounded by people passionated about the same issues, and being able to network and share experiences, but at least, these materials will give you food for thought.
We’ll keep you posted as the resources are available. Meanwhile, as a foretaste, you can watch the videos of some of our partners: Mission Adelante, The Hope Center, and The Global Orphan Project. Enjoy!
Marta, an immigrant