Lessons in carol service failure.
Week beginning: 10th December, 2017 | By Dominic Hughes | London
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."1 Peter 2:9 (NIV 1984)
I recently realised that I've been getting this whole carol service thing wrong. And wrong on at least two fronts…
First, I've often taken my eye off the ball as to the "missional" nature of being a Christian lawyer. Let me illustrate what I mean. In his book The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work Darrell Cosden points out that we need to practise consciously "naming" ourselves as missionaries. Go on – do it! Say to yourself "I [insert your name] am a missionary to the legal world." When we "name" ourselves this way, it will help order our priorities and our prayers. And that will help our focus on declaring God's praises to the world around (2:9, 3:15).
Second, in previous years, when there was a carol service or a guest event coming up, my internal approach would be something like "I suppose I should invite someone to come with me". But that is a really impoverished approach to mission.
How much better is it to look, instead, with a different set of spectacles: "I'm part of a wonderful community – a chosen people, a royal priesthood. And this carol service that my fellow believers have organised is a wonderful opportunity for us to do mission together."
May the Lord forgive our impoverished approaches to mission. And may He help us to see the opportunities around us at Christmas with new eyes.
1. Pray that we'd be better at "getting" the missional nature of our life as Christian lawyers.
2. Pray that we would take opportunities to do mission together with fellow believers this Christmas.