I have always understood Salvation as a continual process: God is always hard at work, saving God’s people from our own misunderstandings, fears, and injustices. It is during these delegations that I can feel that presence and power very close at hand.
Of course God’s work is urgently needed in the immigrant community: families are being ripped apart; victims of crime are afraid to call the police; our youth are facing no future without a 9-digit number. But as we are invited in to see the courage and inspiring leadership at work, we come to understand how active God is in that community already.
And I believe that God is needed just as urgently in my own community--those of us who been here for a little longer. We need to be saved from our own too-small circles of friends; our willingness to accept the negative picture of “those people” promoted by the world-at-large; and our tendency to fall into “business as usual” instead of seeking the radical transformation of the Holy Spirit in every corner of our communities.
These delegations are a powerful way to usher in the Good News: that Salvation is here. We ARE being saved from small-mindedness, from injustice, from all kinds of division. Our work is far from done, but we have so many beautiful co-workers in the building of the Kingdom. How can we help but smile, even if it is through tears, at the awesome possibilities before us?