I have been a little less than optimistic with the efforts of the ONE Campaign to rid the world of poverty and hunger and disease. Seems like a rather large task for an organization which seems to put a lot of their proceeds into advertising (white wristbands, ONE t-shirts, commercials w/ celebs, etc). However, I was watching CNN today and they featured, briefly, a special on a mother who emigrated from Tanzania who had HIV and was pregnant. Her name was Furtunata Kasege. She was told that there was a way to treat the virus and prevent the carrying of this virus on to her unborn daughter. She went through the treatment to become HIV-negative/free and today has a 13 year old daughter, Florida Kasege, who is also HIV-negative and is not a carrier of the virus either. It seems that this procedure requires some money and some publicity though in order for it to be more readily available to women and/or mothers who are HIV-positive. The ONE Campaign is trying to support what is called the Global Fund and is in the process of promoting it to President Obama in order to get the money to have a shot at ending newborns with HIV by 2015. The link below is to the ONE Campaign website where you can watch a much more informative video.
This is not something that we should be passionate about simply because HIV is a bad thing and we should care about the well-being of others, but as Christians we are called to care for those who need to be cared for. We are called to live transformative lives in the midst of a dying world. If we are not passionate about helping the “widow and orphan,” then who will be? This isn’t a matter of supporting a political party. It is a matter of supporting those who are sick and need our help. I pray that you will take heart and consider watching this video and supporting the Global Fund for the sake of helping some people who really need help. Our country has been in a recession, yes, but our “poverty” in our country is viewed as wealth in most of the world. Know that. Do not merely do this to serve yourself and feel good. There are enough selfish Christians in this world who don’t seem to care about helping those who are sick and dying, but would rather spend more money per year on coffee. It’s hard medicine to swallow, but you know it to be true. Do this for the sake of truly seeking to care for someone outside of yourself with unselfish motives. Do this for the sake of taking seriously the transformative Gospel message of Jesus Christ and the radical way of living endorsed by Jesus. An ancient historian once recorded that early Christians were different from the rest of the world. The world was sexually promiscuous in their living and stingy with their money. Early Christians were described to be the opposite: stingy sexually and promiscuous with their money/giving.
God is sufficient in and of himself by his very nature of being God, he doesn’t need anything else. Yet, God chose to create out of his benevolent character and out of his sovereign will. God sent Jesus Christ into the world, who is both God and man, for the sake of redeeming the world and was obedient to the will of the Father even to the point of death on a cross. As Christians, we are quite familiar with what love looks like in it’s ultimate form being in Jesus Christ upon the cross with the sins of humanity upon his shoulders and the piercings upon his hands and feet which identify him with the one true Messiah prophesied by the prophet Isaiah. However, who are we if we do not seek to imitate the life of the one we ourselves identify ourselves with? Who are we if we do not seek to give food to those who are hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, and care for those who are ill? We should be passionate about justice not for the sake of a secular ideal utilitarian society as much of the world seems to subscribe to today, but we should be passionate about justice because our God whom we serve and are therefore utterly dependent upon is passionate about justice! We are called as Christians to not merely know our theology, but to live it. We are called to live self-sacrificial, transformative lives as we are the ‘aroma of Christ‘ to the nations. Grace defined is unmerited favor. As Christians we are children of grace as we are living under the grace of God and that means we are favored by God apart from anything we could have ever done or do. As children of grace, we are called to live our lives marked by an identity that is in Christ and not in ourselves. Therefore, we are called to live showing others unmerited favor despite whatever they have done or do (there are exceptions to this within the confines of the local church for those unwilling to submit themselves to the Church or God’s word or to the edification of Christian brothers/sisters, but I am speaking generally and of what should be happening outside the church walls).
If that doesn’t stir a passion within your heart then maybe you should ask yourself why it doesn’t.
Watch the video, and I pray that all of us may seek to ‘do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.’