Business as Usual...

On April 5, 2014, First Lutheran hosted a Community Conversation about Human Trafficking.   National Director of Cherish All Children, Amy Hartman, was a presenter that day.  Cherish All Children is a national Lutheran ministry of prayer, education, relationship-building, and action to prevent child sexual exploitation.  The following article is from Cherish All Children's Wednesday Prayer, a weekly on-line newsletter:

 

Kirk, the editorial cartoonist for the Toledo Blade, published a cartoon May 9 which contained this comment: "In Nigeria, kidnapping girls and selling them is called 'an act of terrorism'… Over here, it's called 'business as usual'". Maybe a bit over the top, but what editorial cartoonist worthy of the name isn't. They get our attention and focus it.

"…business as usual" - How does that work in the church, more specifically in our congregations? I Peter 2:9-10 states:

 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Once you were not a people,

 but now you are God's people;

once you had not received mercy,

 but now you have received mercy.

 

Business as usual? We are in the business of being a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people in order that we may proclaim the mighty acts of God. This happens out of particular experience: not a people, now God's people; no mercy, mercy received.

In this Easter season, business as usual is the proclamation of Jesus Christ's victory over death and sin. It is this victory that has made us who we are, this victory that declares that God has not created us for human trafficking, that this is no business for anyone to be engaged in.

We cry out with outrage over 200-300 girls kidnapped and demand that something be done, and done now. Do we know when girls (and boys, too) are stolen from our neighborhoods? Do we pray for the kidnapped and the kidnappers? Do we understand that it is the business of the church to present to the world a vision of God's realm through all that we do as congregations and as members of congregations?

How is business as usual happening through us and through our congregations so that the children of our neighborhoods can feel safer, surrounded by the love of God?

 

Good and gracious God, your Son, Jesus Christ, took little children on his knee and blessed them. Keep us mindful of the children among us and of children around the world-those in jeopardy and those who are loved, and help us in prayer and in practice to hold them up to you and your amazing love. In Jesus' name. Amen.