So what is our task as Christians? We are to be salt; we are also to be like leaven. Salt arrests the decay in meat. Leaven permeates the flour and transforms it into sustenance.

As Canada searches for values to live by, we can join the discussion and be advocates and exemplars of virtues that bring Shalom. We will not seek to impose – that is not our task, nor our calling. We will seek to persuade and give faithful witness to the wisdom entrusted to us as witnesses to the gospel of grace. We are loved by God and bear his image. Life is something that we should cherish and care for. We should love others as we love ourselves, in word and deed.

In both the Old and New Testaments, the people of Israel and the followers of Jesus were commanded to care for the alien, the widow, the orphan and the poor – to care for the vulnerable. This is a positive, life-affirming message. It means the vulnerable can trust that no one will do them harm, and that their lives have inestimable worth that is not dependent on the subjective evaluations of others or even themselves. It means that no one should be required to justify why they are deserving of love or care. It is a message of faith, hope and love.

This is excerpted from Evangelical Fellowship of Canada president Bruce Clemenger’s column from the November-December 2005 issue of Faith Today.