Echo Spring 2021 - 33

be so among you. But whoever would
be great among you must be your
servant, and whoever would be first
among you must be your slave, even as
the Son of Man came not to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a
ransom for many " (Matthew 20:25-28).
This most powerful, everlasting King
conducts Himself in complete opposite
fashion from how ruling kings and
authorities operate. This king SERVES all
under His rule and does so " to the point
of death " (Philippians 2). This story in
Matthew 20 captures the controversy
of Jesus' message that inspired the
schemes of those who persecuted
Him-a message that theologian Dr.
Richard Hays describes as " ...carrying
with it a fundamental trans-valuation
of values, an exalting of the humble
and a critique of the mighty. "
Rather than eliminating the concept
of authority, Jesus is imagining,
describing, defining and enacting
authority in a radical new way that
completely opposes this world's way of
operating. In agreement with Neufeld,
I believe this is what the Sermon on
the Mount of Luke 6 and Matthew 5 is
all about, as he writes, " The Beatitudes
are addressed to those for whom
the coming kingdom represents a
profound reversal. " The reversal is not
only different from this world's pattern,
but original, as it restores us back to
God's design. That design being the
flourishing of all human beings, and as
His image-bearers, we would rule the
creation, causing its flourishing out of
our own. Jesus' entire ministry reflects
this new way of operating, called " The
Kingdom of God. "
King Jesus does not tell his followers to
impose their strength over those less
strong, but rather to visit the prisoner,
to offer the cup of water in His name.
His example of one who truly loves his
or her neighbor is not the religious elite
who are the overseers of law-keeping
and temple worship (or, in our terms,
responsible for Sunday " service " ) yet
pass by a man beaten, robbed and left
for dead. Instead, it is the " despised "
Samaritan who stops to serve that man
to the degree that his resources will
allow. In other words, there are hurting
conditions all around us in our local
communities that need kingdom values
mercifully demonstrated to them in
their pain, regret and suffering.
Theologian and historian Dr. Tom
Wright expresses the following in his
book, " The Challenge of Jesus: " " ...
the in-breaking kingdom Jesus was
announcing created a new world, a
new context ... a way of life, a way of
forgiveness and prayer, a way of jubilee,
which they could practice in their own
villages, right where they were. "
As the Roman Empire spread its rule
throughout the world by force, the
kingdom of God in Jesus is spread
throughout God's good world,
proclaiming His rule in love, in mercy,
in relief of suffering-in service. As we
do this to the least of these, we do so
to the eternal King Himself, and doing
so reflects our anticipation of His return
to resurrect this world back into its
intended flourishing reality-a reality
and way of operating, which sin will
interrupt no more.
We know that the Church does not
bring about the consummation of the
New Creation, as it will be the return
of Christ that accomplishes this. We
should certainly, however, demonstrate
our anticipation of this hope by serving
our communities toward that end.
In other words, a helpful question to
drive us in service to the needs of our
communities is, " What would a New
Creation/Kingdom version of my local
community look like? "
Here at LBC | Capital, our professors
are shaping students with this biblical
worldview, helping them learn it in
and out of the classroom. For example,
Dr. John Churchville, Director for our
Criminal Justice program, recently
collaborated with Christian Legal Clinics
of Philadelphia (CLC). This organization
serves residents of Philadelphia and the
surrounding areas through volunteer
attorneys who help inform and
resource them with information they
couldn't otherwise afford to obtain. Dr.
Churchville arranged for LBC | Capital to
be a connecting point for CLC's work,
appointing Criminal Justice students
Cambrie Miller ('21) and Michael Agliotta
('21) over the initiative. In addition
to directing callers to the resources
they need, they are also responsible
for recruiting and training volunteer
students to do the same.
Also, Joseph Shilalo ('17, '20 & '22), a
Criminal Justice major in our Adult
Education program, is a local pastor
in the Lancaster area. After receiving
his bachelor's and master's degree in
Biblical Studies, Joseph returned to LBC
| Capital as a Criminal Justice major.
He did so for the sole purpose of being
more equipped to resource members
of his congregation with knowledge of
the legal system. When asked why he
chose this major as a pastor, Joseph
answered, " My people were looking
to me for help because they didn't
know where else to get it, and I didn't
know what to tell them. I had to do
something. " These are just a couple of
examples of how God is using LBC |
Capital to respond to the hurting needs
of our local community and beyond
with gospel service and healing.
Many of us may not go down in the
chronicles of church history as a Martin
Luther of the 16th century or a Martin
Luther King Jr. of the 20th century.
Although the parable of the Good
Samaritan leaves him nameless, its
message is to all of us who belong to
Christ. We who serve the needs around
us are not merely good Christians
but are demonstrating that we are
operating under the humble eternal rule
of our servant-King, who, " though He
was equal with God, did not consider
equality with God something to be
grasped, but took on the form of a
servant. "
Neufeld, Thomas R. Yoder. Recovering Jesus.
(Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos. 2007) 188.
Wright, Nicholas Thomas. The Challenge of Jesus.
(Downer's Grove, IL: Intervarsity. 1999) 46.
Wright, Nicholas Thomas. The Day the Revolution
Began. (New York: HarperCollins. 2011).
Hays, Richard B. The Moral Vision of the New
Testament. (New York: HarperCollins. 1996) 163.
Bible quotes are from the NET (New English

Echo Spring 2021

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