This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33
As followers of Christ in LA we are a minority group and this means we have to explain our beliefs clearly and who we are. As believers, we’re a minority not by our skin color, but a minority because of what we believe and how we live. It is both hard and easy to recognize this. Hard when we realize our co-workers or friends may not believe in the life and testimony of Jesus. Easy when we surround ourselves with other believers and don’t have to explain our beliefs.
In this context, Tapestry LA is seeking to engage with and add to the flourishing of the City. This will be done through being a Creative Minority.* Instead of fully embracing culture or fully withdrawing from culture, culture will be engaged by remaining distinct in our reflection of God’s character and being creative in engaging the different cultures of different groups in South Park.
God’s people are a people set apart for God.
In LA, it may not be clear how our lives are different as God’s people. The places we eat, stores we shop at, TV shows we watch, and the clothes we buy may not be different from culture. We may actually not look that different to the dominant culture in Los Angeles. As God’s people, we are consuming culture and living lives not that different than the majority culture in Los Angeles. How do I spend my money, time, and what do I focus my attention on? In addition to attending Sunday Service, going to a small group, and being surrounded by a community of believers, is there something more to my life that makes me a disciple (student) of Christ? We need to recognize that God is calling us to more than just be a consumer of the dominant culture. As God’s people, we are set apart by a deep relationship to him and from that deep relationship we live radically different lives loving God, obeying him and loving others as ourselves.
As God’s people are we taking a stand for justice?
Recently, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented immigrants dominated the headlines. At Tapestry LA there are undocumented brothers and sisters who will be impacted by Congress’ ability to pass or not pass comprehensive immigration reform. What does God ask of his people in this situation? What do we advocate for when families are being separated and people’s livelihoods are at risk of being taken away? And some may take the position that we need to enforce the law and make sure there are consequences for breaking the law. There are so many other issues facing society and as a family of believers how do we step into culture in a way that speaks for justice?
The For the City Series will continue next month by expanding on the definition of Creative in Creative Minority. And provide context in how Missions will continue at Tapestry LA.
*Creative Minority is a term from Andy Crouch’s book Culture Making.