One of the things that is unique about Anglicare is that we intentionally take a distinctly Christian approach to our work. There are many other great organisations that undertake similar work to Anglicare and they do a wonderful job, but the difference with Anglicare is that we see the work that we do as a vital expression of the love, mercy and grace shown to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is because he has loved and served us so well, that we seek to love and serve others in his name.
This is not only true for us as an organisation, it is also true for our donors and volunteers whose prayer and support enable Anglicare to undertake its Christian caring ministries.
As we look ahead to another year in which we will seek to love and serve the vulnerable and the marginalised who find themselves on the ragged edges of our society, it is worth pausing and reflecting once more on the gospel of grace as our great motivation in all that we do and God's glory as the object of all that we do.
When it came to addressing the deepest need of all, the one that every person shares – our alienation from the sovereign God of the universe – we weren't told to sort ourselves out and lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps.
When we least deserved it, God chose willingly and sacrificially to intervene on our behalf in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ to graciously and mercifully meet a need that was far, far beyond our own means to meet.
The apostle John tells us that this knowledge of God's love for us, this gospel motivation, will inevitably bubble up in our desire to love and serve others as we have been loved and served. "We love", he tells us, "because he first loved us".
This love will see us employ our God-given talents and resources in the service of our communities, with our gospel-inspired work helping to incline people toward Jesus and our gospel words helping make him known as Lord and Saviour.