In this sermon, Cedrick Baker brings clarity to what it means to be civically engaged in our world in a Kingdom way. He offers insight into ways that we can be God’s love and light without falling into the traps of polarization.
What is civic engagement? What does it look like within the Kingdom? Cedrick Baker addresses these questions at this especially important moment in America with the overturning of Roe vs. Wade.
Civic engagement is contributing and working to make a difference in the public (or civic) life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and commitment to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community and solving public problems, through both political and non-political processes (University of Michigan – Edward Ginsberg Center).
Examples of civic engagement might include financially support Breaking Free, an organization that helps survivors of sex trafficking with housing and direct services, volunteering at Woodland Hills with the food shelf, or visiting with an elderly widow who needs help grocery shopping or cleaning her home.
Christians are ambassadors from another Kingdom, and we must understand how the Kingdom defines civic responsibility. The focus scripture shows us that the Kingdom of God is not a physical place. It transcends space and time. The Kingdom of God is wherever God’s people are located and living out their faith in relationship with God.
Our civic responsibility as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God must be shaped by three things. First, love must be the motivation of believers. Everyone in this world was worth Jesus dying for and we have an opportunity to acknowledge that by the love we show. We don’t need to know all the answers. As believers, the desire to see the love of Christ experienced in this world compels us to get involved in the affairs of our communities.
Second, we are the light. We read this in Matthew 5:14-16. We can’t be silent, we can’t be shy and we can’t hide. We must look for opportunities to “seek justice.” The Bible says when we do this, it allows our light to shine and others will see our good deeds and turn their attention to our Father.
Finally, examine how you are showing up in your community. We need discernment and direction on what “cause” to take up. What are you passionate about? What skills and experiences do you have to meet a need? This goes far beyond questions about what political party to side with. It’s about being present in our communities for the people in those communities. Our mandate is not to choose what’s right or wrong in our government. Our responsibility is always to show up and love no matter what.
We have a civic responsibility from the Kingdom of God to get involved in our community, being God’s Kingdom light to our sisters and brothers, and we can’t lose focus of that mandate based on what’s happening politically in our society.
Hide Extended Summary