The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity comes to an end today. Here in Musselburgh, we had a very inspiring service last night at Northesk Church in Bridge Street.
The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer has been ‘Salt and Light,’ and has been a powerful reminder that part of the calling of the Church is to be, in the words of Jesus, ‘the salt of the earth and the light of the world.’ The preacher at last night’s service reminded us that this meant that Christians were to ‘make a difference’ in the world, by working for peace and justice.
And that is precisely how I understand my purpose as the Church and Community Development Worker for the Church of Scotland in the Musselburgh area – as ‘making a difference’ (indeed, that’s the strapline for Starfish Recovery, with whom I’m heavily involved), as working for peace and justice in our communities, as being ‘salt’ and ‘light.’
But both the published material and the preacher last night were at pains to stress that there is a third calling for the Church and Christians, too. Alongside being salt and light, we are called also to ‘proclaim the Lord’s mighty acts’ (1 Peter 2:9).
And that’s a challenge for me! Do I really and adequately ‘proclaim the Lord’s mighty acts’ in my work and ministry? Am I explicit enough about my Christian faith in the ‘secular’ contexts where I find myself? Are the Celtic Cross and ‘Church of Scotland Community Worker’ on my ‘hoodie’ obvious enough.
That’s a challenge for all of us who are involved in Church-based community engagement. Are we obviously enough Christ’s ambassadors in the ‘world’?