Igniting ‘Wholeness’

Date: 05 July 2022

Igniting ‘Wholeness’

YMCA Vision 2030 Pillar 1, Community Wellbeing

World Council Devotions, 05/07/022


This excerpt from the main presentation of the Devotions focuses on abundance and wholeness for all, as presented by:

Kerry Reilly, CEO of YMCA Scotland

We see the YMCA triangle of spirit, mind and body, and we see wholeness. It comes from the inner assurance of who we are in God. Being whole doesn’t mean our life is perfect but that we are secure in the abundance of God’s love. He gives us the strength to deal with joy, pains, and life’s opportunities and challenges. He gives us healing and refreshment. 

Abundance and scarcity are useful lenses through which to think of wholeness and brokenness. If wholeness is an expression of God’s abundance, then brokenness is an expression of scarcity. And scarcity can have a devastating impact on an individual’s body, mind and spirit. We have seen this in our communities: Poverty, poor mental and physical health, lack of education, lack of aspiration and lack of hope.

George Williams founded the YMCA to share the opportunities of wholeness in the midst of oppressive working conditions. He said the people (workers) are more than a body in a machine; they have a soul, and our responsibility is to feed those souls. It is how we ignite wholeness in others, this cannot be done in isolation. Without igniting dignity, it is difficult to ignite wholeness; without igniting wholeness, it is difficult to ignite hope.

I would like to share two of my favourite Bible quotes: 

First, Jesus in the temple quoted the book of Isaiah, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery the sight of the blind and set free the oppressed”. He is talking, she said, about igniting wholeness in people.

Second, Micah 6:8; “ The Lord requires you to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” 

At the heart of Vision 2030, we have a pillar about a Just World. The Lord requires us to act justly, and we have to strive for justice and equity. We know the reality of the struggle of scarcity. We have to strive for a just world that enables abundance and wholeness for all. 

I leave with another favourite quote from my childhood. English theologian John Wesley emphasised that the Church should not exclude the working class, labourers and uneducated people from the opportunity for spiritual growth and wholeness through faith. He said, “Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the ways you can at all the times you can to all the people you can, as long as ever you can”.  


Over four days at the 20th World Council, we shared in daily Devotions. Each day looked through a Christian faith lens at a value linked to one of the four Vision 2030 Pillars of Impact. And each day we also heard the perspective of a different faith tradition, and our speakers explored the concepts of Wholeness, Hope, Responsibility and Dignity. Let their words offer focus and guidance as you embark on your prayer journey. 

WC article: https://www.ymca.int/devotions-its-all-about-faith/