The prophets still speak to us today in their words, some of which were written more than 2500 years ago. They spoke of faith in God, repentance, and warning to those who had turned away from the covenant they had made with YHWH. But for me, the most important part of the prophet's message was the call for justice and righteousness. They cried out for those who had no voice... the poor, the widow, and the orphan. That is the heart of their message that continues to speak to us today. We are called to act in a way that brings justice to those who are struggling to make ends meet. Our words and deeds can bring joy and hope to those who need to encounter someone acting in loving service on behalf of a present and gracious God. Loving our neighbor, especially that neighbor in need, answers the call of the prophets. It is an out-flowing of faith for the world. Because faith isn't simply something to make us feel better; it is the catalyst that joins us together and makes us a part of God's healing presence in the world.
After attending the annual synod assembly this weekend in Fresno, CA, I have to say I was deeply moved by what Holy Cross is a part of. We heard many different reports of the various ministries that the ELCA sponsors and which our contributions help support. There was a particular story that touched me that I wanted to share. There was a young woman who was a part of the Lutheran disaster relief effort who was helping those affected by super-storm sandy in New Jersey. She was working with the homeless population in one of those towns hit hard by the storm. Her duties included trying to find clothes for those who were homeless before the storm. She came across a man whose shoes and socks were in really ragged condition, so she asked him if he would like new shoes and socks, and he said yes. So she went to go and get this man shoes and socks but instead of simply handing them to him she actually knelt down and removed his old footwear and put the new socks and shoes on him herself. Such a wonderful image of what it means to love and serve in the name of Jesus!
I wanted to share this with you because I think we need to hear these personal connections and stories about what the money we give every year in mission support to the larger church goes to. I would encourage you to check out the webpage below. It has many stories about how our brothers and sisters in Christ are impacting their communities in powerful ways.