The fourth and final week of Advent!  One week left until Christmas 2011. How time flies! 

Throughout Advent many churches focus on different aspects of our relationship with God.  For the last three weeks I’ve used this Advent tradition to focus on some words that characterize the relationships that we have here at Mission Services of London among ourselves, with our partners, and with the many people that use our services.  Compassion, Hope and Integrity.  In this final week, my focus is on the word Diligence.

Diligence describes many actions directed outwards towards others and actions inwards to one’s self. For some, Diligence has the connotation of moving forward, of being very clear, intentional and focused on a specific goal and direction; of being an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. It includes being alert and observant for opportunities and challenges, of being aware that nothing remains the same forever. For others it is not so much a moving forward and changing, but of maintaining the course and persevering when challenges occur, persevering because it is the right thing to do. I think it is a reminder for all that it takes constant and earnest effort to begin something, to continue, and finally to accomplish the task or tasks. 

Because our Christian faith underpins this organization, I can’t help but try to integrate the wonder of the Christmas season with the word Diligence.  There are many ways to look at the whole story of the Bible and the Christmas story in particular. Christians describe their belief in scripture in many different ways, and consequently they frame the Bible stories and the Christmas story in different ways.  For me, I choose to see the Bible as a love story – and that is the frame for the Christmas story.

So what does that have to do with Diligence?  Because the God who sent the Christ child was very clear and intentional with what he was doing. It shows God’s diligence towards us. There is no greater effort taken by our God, whose image we all share, to accomplish his task in showing us how much he loved us.  And that has become an example for us here at Mission Services of London.

Diligence, God’s and ours.  It is why we do what we do at Mission Services of London.

Merry Christmas everyone! 

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