Radical: “forming an inherent or fundamental part of the nature of someone or something”
When people think of the word “radical” it is usually perceived as something negative, or a dramatic change, but the Latin origin refers to “having roots”. It is this context that we should consider how we, as individuals and CityHill, could be the radical middle – that we should strive to take the form of the inherent nature of Christianity by keeping the Word and the Spirit centred in God.
One could argue that the wheel is one of man’s best inventions. A bicycle wheel, for example, is a brilliant piece of engineering. From the centre of the wheel radiates spokes that support the tyre which rotates and propels the bike forward. If the centre of the wheel is slightly to the left or right or just a little too high or low, the spokes would not be equal lengths and the tyre would not be perfectly round and it would not function the way a wheel should. Are the spokes important? Yes! Is the tyre necessary? Yes! But they would all be redundant without that all-important middle which forms an inherent part of the wheel. The centre is radical!
John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.” God is at the centre of all things, He is our fundamental, radical middle. He is in every fibre of our being at the very centre of our world and as Christians, the centre of our lives must be God.
People and Churches change, and good change is great. Sometimes though, we find ourselves asking “how did we get here?” and puzzling over the choices we’ve made, wondering where it all went wrong. In those instances, the moment can usually be identified as the moment when we strayed from a fundamental truth – where we were so enamoured by something or someone to the point of being distracted from our centre.
As individuals, we must stay connected to the radical middle which is God, His Word and the Holy Spirit. In turn, we must strive to be the spoke for our friends and family, that radiates outwards and connects people to God in the hope that they will, in turn, become a spoke that connects directly to God.
As a Church, we must stay true to God. We must not be caught up in “seasonal” thinking that shifts our centre. Too often Churches can lose their way by segregating themselves through some new-fangled idea. Galatians 3:27-28 reminds us, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”.
Matthew 7:14 says, “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (NLT). As a Church we need to be the wheel that does not wobble or waver, that can stay on a narrow path with clear direction – and this can only be done with God at the centre.
There is nothing boring about being seen as “the middle”, the best things in life are found in the middle – our hearts are in the centre of our chests, protected by our ribs. Babies are formed and grown in the womb. Most fruit carry their seeds at their core. The centre of God’s arms is where we should be, and as CityHill we can extend God’s reach into our community by being the radical middle! Set your wheels in motion! Be radical!