Every year at Territorial Headquarters, we celebrate Christmas with a lunch and (not so) Secret Santa. One year, I received a very special gift. My Secret Santa gave me a lovely framed poem, which now features on the back cover of this edition of War Cry.
I love poetry, so that was a winner, but, more importantly, it reminded me of something I had lost sight of, and that was the lines preceding and including: ‘This world needs you as you are’. I realised I was not appreciating my ‘uniqueness’. I was more than happy to be homogenous and blend in, preferably somewhere in the proverbial back seats. But, as a Christian, God was asking me to be who he created me to be, with all my failings, bad hair days and quirkiness—and use it for his glory.
This edition of War Cry is a call to identify your uniqueness in Christ and commit to using your particular giftings and talents in service with him. It is a recommitment of covenant and also a re-focusing on the mission of The Salvation Army as first envisioned by William and Catherine Booth.
It reminds me of another poem, one which is inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’ May we all be counted amongst those who commit to the greatest work of all—speaking hope and salvation to the lost.
…and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Me te whakawhetai atu anō ki te Matua, nana nei tātou i whai tikanga ai ki tētahi wāhi o te kāinga o te hunga tapu i roto i te mārama.