Putting Faith into Action

Some people may well think that being a Christian just means professing a faith in Jesus, but Jesus clearly said 'Follow me'. Sometimes, that means literally dropping everything like those first disciples, and doing what we feel called by God to do. It can feel risky, but often exciting, and God sustains us through the changes that are necessary. When I first felt called to faith-related work, I knew I had to drop what I was doing at the time and move to another part of the country, giving up a decent salary and a permanent job to do so. Other people have done much more drastic things because they felt called by God to do them; in some cases they even risked their lives.

Not everyone is called to do something frightening or daring, but we are all called to take our faith seriously by putting it into action. If not, all we have is a shallow faith and a 'cheap grace' (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). If we just say we believe in Jesus and even go to church every Sunday, but do not act out God's love in the world, we are, in Paul's words, 'like a clanging cymbal' (1 Corinthians 13:1).

Putting faith into action can take many different shapes, but I believe it should always follow Jesus' example of solidarity with those less fortunate, inclusion of those on the margins, and putting others before ourselves. Talking with one of the trustees of SCM last week about campaigns that we might run this year, we both realised just how many 'issues' there are! I often feel compelled to be involved with about five campaigns at any one time! Of course, that is just not possible. We have to focus on what is most important to us, or on where we can most use our knowledge and passion to make a difference, and then hope that others will take up other causes.

The wonderful thing about SCM is that it is not a single issue organisation and it is student-led, so whatever is important to students this year is what we hope to be able to campaign on, and if we don't do a campaign one year, there is always next year. My job is not only about campaigns though. I'm also hoping, through training and workshops, to inspire and empower students to make a difference by putting their faith into action at university and beyond, whatever their personal calling in life may be. After all, the first calling for all of us as Christians is to follow Jesus.