Responsibility, Belonging & Community
St Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 ‘Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.’ Being a Christian therefore means belonging to a community God has ordained, to behave, act and work in a certain way. Paul gives guidance in his letters to new churches and their members about behaviour and much, although not all of it, is appropriate today. In the short letter of James, a Christian is expected ‘to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger’. Therefore, much guidance for Christian action today is to be found in the New Testament. Regular worship, right behaviour and correct manner of earning a living are all means by which the Christian life is defined and recognised.
Christians are inevitably to be found in all walks of life. Christian commitment can be variable but many Christians are found in church work, in nursing and health, in teaching and other work which is considered ‘vocational’. This is specific work which a person feels God is calling them to do. This does not exclude a person from working in the armed forces, although some Christians such as Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) are pacifists. There are many army chaplains who serve the needs of all soldiers whether Christian or not.
A Christian might explain their vocation as feeling ‘at home’ in what they are doing, or content doing the work of God. Local, community and national figures all express this feeling and belief.