22 Sep Walking the walk
I was recently told that supporters of one of the world’s most popular and famous football (or some might know it as soccer) teams, the Liverpool Football Club, sing a communal anthem at the start of every match to encourage their team. My friend was passionate in sharing with me how powerful and moving the spectacle is. So I searched for a video of the anthem, to see for myself what had engaged my friend so much. And it moved me. Not because I am a huge fan of English soccer, but I was moved by the words sung by those ever-hopeful football fans crammed on to the terrace singing: “Walk on, walk on; with hope in your heart. And you’ll never walk alone. You’ll never walk alone.”
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus teaches his disciples about having courage, conviction and, above all, trust in Him so we can faithfully follow His call into the risky and exciting waters of the high seas of life. Peter may have been the first one out of the boat, but Jesus’ invitation to walk on water and to never walk alone is for us all. For you, for me, for a player of the Liverpool Football Club, the assurance of having a Saviour in Jesus to walk alongside brings complete hope and faith.
Last weekend, Tracey and I spent time sharing the Walk the Walk for the homeless with Majors Brendan and Sandra Nottle. The Nottle’s have been beacons of hope for Melburnians in need for over ten years at the Melbourne 614 Corps. Whilst the Nottle’s lead a team and congregation with a local focus – bringing much needed support and nurture to the forgotten people of Melbourne – their vision is truly national.
When Brendan told me he was called by the Lord to walk from Melbourne to Canberra to invite the nation and its leaders to work together to reframe the picture of homelessness in Australia, I was in awe. I saw a man standing before me with a deep desire to bring attention to a critical issue with an innovative spirit, delivering an outcome that will hopefully have far reaching national impact, wanting to step out of the boat and walk. “Go for it!” I said.
Whilst we continue to mobilise Salvos around the country in Leading Our Vision, it is examples like the Nottle’s that bring alive our pursuit of the vision we are seeking to live out. It is an extraordinary expression of living, loving and fighting ‘alongside others’ – operating locally, but thinking strategically about our nation.
Keep your eye out for the ‘Leading Our Vision’ workshops that will be offered in every corps, centre and Salvation Army expression in Australia to discover locally what new thing God is doing and has in mind to do. These sessions will be occurring over the coming months.
For over 130 years, Salvos across Australia have chosen to step out of the boat into the places of hardship or injustice so people never have to walk alone, supported by the love of Jesus. My request to you this day is…will you walk with us?