I often reflect on this quote from the American social activist Jim Wallis:
‘Faith is always personal, but never private.’
Its a pithy way to describe the inward and outward nature of authentic Christianity.
Personal convictions are the engine-room of faith. Individual hearts and minds need to be committed. Each of us need to answer the question Jesus asks Peter: ‘Who do you say I am?’
But this is the start, not the end. Just as engines are just one part of a vehicle, and hearts and minds are part of a body, personal faith must lead to public action. Jesus sends out his followers to take his message to ‘the ends of the earth’.
Every follower of Jesus is a missionary. We are each called engage with the world around us and to seek an encounter between our beliefs and a world of desperate need. This is what faith is.
A privatised, individualised belief system is not authentic Christianity.
A new song
Sometimes the songs Christians sing don’t help to do this. Many popular new songs encourage a hyper-individualised ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ approach.
But this week, a new song was released We Seek Your Kingdom. It is set to the tune Abide with Me, well known to many because it is always sung at the FA Cup Final. The words of the new song set out a vision for faith in Jesus ‘to transform, revive and heal’ our society.
Engagement and justice
These are people whose personal convictions have led them into deep engagement in their local communities and in national endeavours for justice. This is a song rooted in authenticity.
For individuals and community
I think this is a fantastic song which should be sung in every church in the country. Just consider the 3 words: Transform. Revive. Heal.
What could be more needed at this time: for individuals, communities and the whole country?
And these words that can convict all of us who have neglected or lost vision for our own missionary calling:
Forgive us Lord when we have not engaged
Failing to scribe your heart on history’s page
Make us again what we were made to be
Transform, revive and heal society
Please take time to listen and reflect on its words and share with your friends and your church: