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Day 1 NOURISHMENT | Formation

The Center for Formation, Justice and Peace seeks to advance ministries of justice by assisting in the spiritual formation of people who embody and love justice. One of the ways we do that is by positioning spiritual formation at the heart of social justice, normalizing involvement for all Christians.
In other words, formation in the words and work of Jesus is formation in the reality and intentional dismantling of injustice. The two go hand in hand. The Center’s inspiration is the heart of Jesus for unity and reconciliation, as he eternally and tirelessly brings everything and everyone together. 
As Jesus followers, we are participants in this most urgent work in which the energy of reconciliation is the dynamo at the heart of the universe. Paul describes this in Ephesians 1 as God’s plan worked out in Christ, “...a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything broken on planet earth.” 
The only grand explanatory system that can carry both the entire purposes of God and the full needs of humanity is Jesus’ vision for the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God was the central theme of Jesus’ words and works. He called his first disciples to become his apprentices in kingdom living, to derive their life from Divine rule and reign. He invited them on a journey to learn to announce, demonstrate and embody kingdom realities—and to do so for the salvation, healing and deliverance of others. 
The inbreaking and final fulfillment of God’s rule and reign provides the telos for human life. It reminds us that the world has a story, and from that story we get background, plot line and daily orientation for our role in the story.
One of the things we say at the Center is “formed well to love well.” What undergirds our story and the story of the Kingdom is love. When we are formed in love, we love those in the Kingdom well.
Pairing justice with formation is so important because the unformed, unloved heart is the true source of evil in humanity. Love was core to Jesus’ life and teaching. Likewise, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work was animated by his personal formation in agape love. Through spiritual transformation, our hearts can become a source of life. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
The goal of our spiritual transformation is the transformation of the inner person, where our actions—good or evil—originate. The hope is to be formed into the kinds of people for whom seeking the peace of the whole community is the natural thing to do—not a hustle, not an attempt to prove anything.

Formed well to love well