December 1, 2016
This story was originally shared in the 2015 Mission Yearbook as a Minute for Mission, December 1, 2015.
To connect with justice is to connect with the heart of God. It is a part of God’s core character. It is not optional but necessary. Jesus, the very fulfillment of Scripture—God on earth, here with us—declared in his first message that justice and compassion would be at the center of his ministry. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus doesn’t say, “I am here just for your soul.” No, he declared that through the power of the Holy Spirit he was going to set captives free, bring sight to the blind, and break the chains of injustice!
December 1 is World AIDS Day. We don’t typically hear about HIV as a justice issue, but as we look at current research and listen to our HIV-positive brothers and sisters, we learn of stories of injustice, mass incarceration, poverty, lack of education, stigma and discrimination, and on and on.
Jesus has called us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to be ministers of reconciliation who restore hope, health, and community to our HIV-positive brothers and sisters who may feel stigmatized and alone.
Hope Springs, founded by a group of congregations including Central Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, is awakening, equipping, and engaging the church in the Baltimore area and beyond by training congregants as volunteers for HIV service-provider organizations. We invite congregants to use their God-given gifts to serve those living with HIV-AIDS in capacities ranging from assisting in HIV testing to providing life-skills training and mentoring.
On this World AIDS Day, let us realize that restoring justice happens through the power of building relationships, including those with our HIV-positive brothers and sisters.
The cry for justice is not answered in a day but over the long haul. Join in.
Erin Donovan, executive director, Hope Springs; member, Presbyterian AIDS Network, Presbyterian Health, Education, and Welfare Association
Today’s Focus: World AIDS Day Presbyterian HIV/AIDS Awareness
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God, you are the restorer, the healer, and the reconciler of all people to you. Revive our hearts so that we may see everyone as a child of your kingdom. On this World AIDS Day, we pray specifically for those struggling with HIV. Provide them not only with medication but also with relationships, that in them they may know hope, restoration, and your love. Amen.
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