25 Mar Sit down for Jesus
Paul Arnold, themedianet co-ordinator and freelance radio producer, reworks an old hymn.
‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus’ goes the song. And who can argue with that? It’s so in tune with Jesus’ final earthly instructions to ‘Go and make disciples…’. And we’ve all heard it so many times in so many ways. Yet the hymn’s militaristic language perhaps doesn’t resonate with our day to day experience. Not many of us relish going forth to the mighty conflict when we leave home for work each day. The normal conflicts of the workplace seem enough without adding to them.
But we can still ‘Stand up for Jesus’. Just letting it be known that we have a faith is a start. And it doesn’t have to be scary or awkward. Who doesn’t start the week by talking about what they did at the weekend?
In fact just owning our faith in this natural way can be much more than just a start. The other Christians in your workplace (and there are quite likely to be some you don’t know about) will get a real sense of encouragement. And it’s much harder for those around you making TV, radio, newspapers and magazines to make clichéd assumptions about Christians and their views when they know there is someone with a faith in the room. You could be the only Christian some people know. Or at least the only one they know they know. And at the very least it’ll just show them that Christians aren’t weird. (Unless you are weird. You’ll have to work that one out for yourself.) Given time, you may well find yourself being asked for a take on an issue that’s come up in a story for publication or broadcast. You don’t have to answer for the whole church, just for yourself, openly and honestly.
You’d have to ask those where I work whether they agree with any of this. I’ve often been at BBC Radio 4 – not a terribly intimidating place for Christians in my experience. But I do know that I have been involved in conversations about output that only came about because I once mentioned my Sunday morning sax-playing to a musical colleague.
And if like Jesus’ disciple, Peter, you find its just too much to admit to sometimes, reflect on how Jesus dealt with him. There’s always a second chance.