Salt and Light in Our Work
Salt and Light in Our Work
“One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love; and You reward everyone according to what they have done” (Ps.62:11,12).
“Fresno Pacific is a vibrant Christ-centered university that is transforming California’s Central Valley and global communities through exemplary service to students of all ethnicities and cultures. Innovative programs encourage academic and professional excellence, peacemaking, social justice, ethical leadership, holistic wellness, and spiritual vitality.”
Fresno Pacific University’s Strategic Map directs us to extend the influence of the Kingdom of God through “Engaging the Cultures and Serving the Cities” by Growing Strategically, Engaging Collectively, Innovating Creatively, Serving Courageously and Transforming Purposely. This has been our operational guide over the spring and into the fall as we address the multiple challenges of the future.
We started this academic year as a virtual community. Some of our experiences this past spring were positive, others yielded frustration and disappointment for students, faculty and staff. Our strength in the promises of God’s power to grant wisdom, patience and persistence carried us through the spring and has launched us into a fall full of hope. We are reminded that Jesus tells us to be salt and light in the world. If we lose our preserving capacity or hide our light under a bushel, we are of little use to his kingdom. Therefore, in the midst of pandemic, recession, global environmental challenges, racial and political tensions, he still calls us to be salt and light to the world around us. In the words of our Lord: “I came not to be served, but to serve” or “I was sent to serve,” and “Let your light shine so that others see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven.”
We often fail to see that it is more important how we do our work than the work itself. We are tempted to rate jobs by status or positions, but Jesus called us all to have the heart of a servant in all we do. The great ones in his kingdom are those whose heart of work is to serve others. Some of this is cliché to many of us because we purport that the nature of our work is service. But kingdom service is an issue of the heart which is reflected in our attitude towards the work assigned.
So much has happened since the first of the year throughout the country. Higher education has not been immune to the dramatic global changes. The compilation of these global events revealed our need for one another, but these events also expose our ego-centric impulses. Our great temptation is to walk in the obscurity of our doubts and fears, losing the vision of the grace and mercy which God extends to all shackled by their limited sight.
Only work abiding in faith, hope and love matures the hearts and strengthens the resolve. These virtues instruct our character, which guides us in the worship of thanksgiving and service. Daily we are tempted to lose sight of the power of God, his unfailing love and faithful promises. Thankful hearts are always gracious in their interaction with other souls. We as a community of hope can only extend the influence of the Kingdom of God if that kingdom is central to our work throughout the world. My prayers are that we as a Christ-centered university community, even as a virtual community this fall, will recognize that: “We are sent here to serve, and not to be served.”