DAY 16: Do Something... Anything!
Small Actions Accomplish Great Things
Isaiah 58:1-12 [13-14]
…share your bread…
After attending Wartburg Youth Leadership School and learning more about ubuntu at the 2003 ELCA Youth Gathering, I (Ruth) realized that the primary call of a Christian is to show the love of Jesus in any way we can. This scripture passage in Isaiah talks about the fast that God chooses to identify with our neighbor in need. It's seeing suffering and pain and knowing that we can do something about it. Our worship of God also means treating each other with respect and justice.
I knew that I was really touched by learning about the millions of AIDS orphans in Africa. I wanted to do something for them to help them know that God and we loved them. My youth ministry leader, Sharon, showed me materials from a project called Operation Christmas Child.
I led our congregation in the project involving filling an ordinary shoebox with things orphan kids don't often have like toys, hygiene products, and school supplies. Our church also puts together Lutheran World Relief school and health kits, but this project took place at Christmas time when everyone was busy buying presents for their own loved ones. The result was great! Sunday school children, confirmation students, and people in the congregation brought in 71 boxes full!
Luther said, "All who do good to their neighbor know that they are pleasing to God, since this is the testimony of our conscience, that we are conducting ourselves before the world in a holy manner." The "Do Life! Ubuntu" journey begun at the ELCA Youth Gathering calls us to not only realize we all are children of God, but that we are also called to care for each other, especially those in need.
How does my faith lead me to serve and help somebody in need?
Providing God, help me see that you have blessed me and that I can show your love by sharing in word and actions that you love all creation.
Philippi is one of the poorest squatter areas in Capetown, South Africa, and is where the Lutheran Community Center is trying to bring hope and relief to people. There is a soup kitchen there and the church has a large vegetable garden where the front lawn should be. Look around your community and see how hope can be brought to those around you who are neighbors in need. Organize a campaign to help in some meaningful way whether it's something big or small.
contributed by Ruth Waterfield and Sharon Rogers