Faith, Justice, and Learning
Love is reflected in the form of service, and reflecting God’s love is at the core of Lutheran Campus Ministry. Care for the neighbour, care for those around us, care for the environment, and care for ourselves are all important aspects of this service. Justice and Action Students (JAS) attempt to mobilize students on the Halifax campuses to become involved in acts of compassion and justice. JAS students will work with the campus communities to create formats, carve out moments, and shape spaces where people can act on their passion for justice and compassion.
Compassion is not pity but the opening of our lives to let the joys and sorrows of others touch and be touched by ours. It is moving from a private self-centred life into God’s common life with us. It may not always be upbeat, and it is never easy, but it brings a shared joy deeper than any passing cheerfulness. We know that we are never far from a healthy faith if we are growing together in God’s compassion for others, for the earth, and for all God’s creation.
Yet within the seemingly-endless places and people that need our compassion, where do we begin? Jack Fortin in The Centered Life suggests the following: “One is to choose one need that we see as most urgent or compelling, one that most deeply arouses our compassion. We can’t do it all. But we can make a difference in one problem area, whether it is world hunger, homelessness, peace, the needs of the elderly, whatever touches our heart. I have a plaque in my office that reads: ‘Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.’ There are many situations that break the heart of God. We can’t feel them all or so something about them all, but we can do something.”
Robert Stives suggests: “The biblical authors never gave an abstract definition of justice but keep pointing to the poor, the oppressed, and the vulnerable as those whom God is especially concerned to protect and restore. Justice, we find, means standing with the lowest neighbor, rejecting the worship of wealth or power, and creating structures supportive of all . . . .”
And acting for justice can also sometimes be simple, as follows:
Campbell’s is donating a can of soup to the needy or every person who visits their site and votes for their favourite NFL team. Help fill empty stomachs with warm soup. www.chunky.com/ClickForCansLanding.aspx#.
Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger, and three-fourths of these deaths are children. You can make a donation of food by visiting this site. The site’s sponsors donate rice, maize, or another staple food to the world’s hungry. Click www.thehungersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteld=1.
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