Our faith is rooted in a story. The beautiful narrative of God’s work in the world. This story is found in the pages of the Bible. Here’s one way we like to tell the story.
God created the world. He created out of nothing, in love and wholeness (Hebrew has a great word for this: shalom). God called the world “good”, but humans, from the very beginning, chose to deny that goodness – and we still do. So evil enters the story and infects our hearts and communities – we rebel against God, treat our neighbors unjustly, harm God’s creation.
But God’s love proved greater than this rebellion when he chose to love the world through the people of Israel. God formed them, rescued them from slavery in Egypt, nurtured them, and made covenants with them – with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David. He called them to be a special people, to care for the things that God cares about: holiness, justice, aiding the poor and outcast.
God was faithful to all his promises. We were not. Yet God still sent his Son to us. Jesus; Immanuel; God with us. God incarnated among his people Israel, among us all. His life, death, and resurrection proved once and for all that God is eternally faithful to humanity. Jesus shows us how to be in relationship with God and makes that relationship possible by his death on a cross – where he bore the weight of our sins. But God not only came to us in the flesh. He came not only to die for us. He also triumphed over death in resurrection that those who follow him might live in freedom. Freedom from fear, isolation and death – the results of our sin, our broken relationship with our Creator. His Kingdom has begun.
And that’s why it is all about Jesus. We seek to follow him and can do so because of the Holy Spirit. God is love in community (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). And God calls us to be love in community. This is what church is – a group of people living in praise and gratitude for God’s love and faithfulness shown in Jesus Christ. So we try to witness to all of this and to be a light in a dark world. In following Jesus we partner with God in his great drama of redemption. This means that in our jobs, our homes, our communities, our finances, and our world we join in God’s work and try to be faithful to him. We don’t have it all figured out. But the goal isn’t to have it all together. It’s to recognize that even though we’re broken, God is with us. The best way to see what someone believes is to observe their actions. Better yet – walk side by side with them a while. We invite you to journey with us.
We also believe it’s important to be connected with other believers, other churches. That’s why we’re committed to the Reformed Church in America. You can read more about the denomination’s beliefs at RCA You can tell a lot about someone based on their friends. Our best friends are Heights of Hope (our neighborhood’s Christian Community Development organization) and Maple Avenue Ministries (a multicultural church in Holland).