Connecting with Culture
It’s been said that culture is ‘what we make of the world’, but what does that look like as Christians? How can we begin conversations about what’s goin...
Within the space of just five days, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, did two pretty remarkable things.
On Saturday 6 May he crowned and anointed the King. And, on Wednesday 10 May, he stood up in the House of Lords and criticised the Government’s controversial Illegal Migration Bill.
What a week, right?
Christianity was put on display at the Coronation. Whether it looked like the way we ‘do’ God or not, Jesus was represented in Westminster Abbey. And whilst I loved watching Archbishop Justin tell the whole world about Jesus amidst such a mighty moment in history, I felt even more resonance with the way he represented Jesus when standing up for the vulnerable just three days later.
Don’t worry, I won’t wade into the politics of it all. It’s just that, watching the Archbishop put himself in the eye of the storm and use his voice to speak on behalf of the voiceless – well, it’s the moment that felt particularly Jesus-like to me.
Because isn’t this a major part of what we’re called to do? Hasn’t the Archbishop, in doing this, displayed an integral aspect of our holistic mission to see God’s kingdom come and his will be done?
All of the words spoken at the Coronation, the music played, the promises made, the artefacts displayed – they would mean nothing if that’s all that remained.
But it was the Archbishop’s words in the House of Lords which made them count. The Jesus spoken about from the golden pulpit on Saturday was the same Jesus who inspired the words from the bench on Wednesday. I’m glad the world saw that.
I’m no Archbishop of Canterbury. And nor are you – unless you actually are, in which case, hi Justin. But I guarantee that the people you interact with every day are seeking evidence that backs up the words you speak. If we’ve told our friends that Jesus cares, they’ll expect us to display it by being there when they need us. If we’ve spoken to our colleagues about justice, they’ll expect us to represent it in the way we act in our workplace. If we’ve promised our families grace, they’ll expect we embody it, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.
As James so sassily said, ‘Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds’ (James 2:18). Day in and day out, I’m reminded that my life needs to make my words count.
Reporter, Centre for Cultural Witness