25 June, 2023
This week we move into the “Being” part of Sam Wells’ 4 approaches to mission.
This one is a little harder to give examples of. Here’s what Sam says:
BEING FOR – is “concerned with getting the ideas right, using the right language, having the right attitudes.” This is about big ideas, public awareness, public action: advocacy.
The reading that I have chosen for this week comes from Romans. Many theologians consider this chapter as Paul’s foundations for Christian living. Paul challenges the Romans – and therefore us – to resist conformity to the world and instead embrace the transformation that comes in Jesus Christ. This transformation comes from the renewing of the mind and living that will show the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We do this by living out the spiritual gifts that God has given us, and this living shows those around us the nature, unity and diversity that is present in the body of Christ. This is right ideas, right language, right actions and attitudes. And this leads to the acknowledgement that there are many members and parts to the body of Christ. We are all members of the body and as such we should be using the gifts that God has given us in a number of different ways. When these gifts are used, and seen, this is where our public actions and advocacy share the good news of Jesus to the world.
In our communities it is the actions we take to highlight issues and people who are ignored or set to one side. Here activities such as the Palm Sunday march for Refugees, Neighbour Day, and other important events can get examples of being for. This is where we are challenged to consider what it means to be for something rather than merely against something. For people rather than against them. Being for something goes beyond criticism and opposition; it calls us to actively engage with the world and work towards a positive change.
Now this is not easy. It’s not easy to imagine a different future from what we know, from what is the present. Being for is something tangible, it’s big ideas, public awareness and public action. Being for can help make a difference in the unfolding story of human flourishing and contribute to the collective progress of society.
What do we do that is being for? How do we make a difference to what is going on around us in the world today?