During this Advent season, the focus in my blog has been on words that we use here at Mission Services of London to remember our history, our faith, our reason for being. Words to contemplate and to celebrate. In the first two weeks, the focus was on Compassion and Hope.
This week I put the spotlight on Integrity. Unlike Compassion and Hope, Integrity doesn’t seem to “fit” as easily with traditional Advent words that would be used in various churches; but it is a word that, for Mission Services of London, is easy to include and worthy to contemplate when considering our relationship to God.
For us Integrity means many things, including demonstrating consistency in our words and actions. When dealing with clients and fellow staff members, it means honouring confidentiality. It means we not only hold ourselves accountable, but we hold others accountable too for their responsibilities. We do not work in isolation, neither as individuals within an organization, nor as an organization within the larger social service framework in the City of London. Finally, Integrity means creating an environment that supports open, direct and honest communication.
At Christmas we celebrate the coming of the Christ child, a signature event in a string of events that displays the consistency of God’s love for us and his integrity. It points to a God who is not only willing to have us participate in his work, but who gives us opportunities to do so. It reveals a God that, through the Christ child, created an environment for open direct and honest communication.
I look back to the history of Mission Services of London, how it was started by a group of Christians who were intent on putting their faith into action, and marvel at their faith, boldness, generosity and their integrity. I suppose I really shouldn’t marvel that much because after all, they were simply reflecting as best they could attributes of their creator and the one whom they worshipped.
For sixty years, whether spoken or unspoken, whether we have excelled or fallen short, integrity has been something that we have strived for. It remains our goal at Mission Services of London.
As we move into the third week of Advent, lets consider how the birth of the Christ child models integrity for all of us, and strive towards that virtue.