Monday, January 7, 2008

A Day One Reflection--World Poverty and Millennium Development Goals by JENNA LUETKEHANS

What an overwhelming first day of class. Focusing on global poverty and injustice is not a very uplifting topic, and to study it for five hours a day, it becomes burdensome. Fortunately, we understand that there is relief and hope for the suffering people of this world, and that is found in Jesus Christ. The sticky part is where we come in. What is our responsibility in regards to this topic? How can we change anything? One is left with an unshakable burden to respond, despite being unable to answer those questions.

The statistics are staggering, the stories heart-breaking, and the progress wanting. HALF of the world population lives on less than two dollars a day. Every four seconds someone dies from hunger-related causes. The Glue Boys, the children of Kakolo Village...your heart just aches for them. The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a great idea. The achievement of the MDGs would have a lasting influence on the world, but it is going to take a lot more work than what has been done at this point. We are not on track to meeting the 2015 goal of halving poverty, and we certainly will not be eradicating it anytime soon. The question is not whether we are able to achieve the goals; it is whether we are willing.

Its makes me smile at how simple it really is. It comes down to selfishness and selflessness. Poverty and injustice is prevalent because of a decision in a garden near the beginning of time. It will end because of the death of one man two thousand years ago. And yet, it is not that simple. At least, not for us.

We entered into the tension today. The tension of knowing that we cannot NOT respond to what we know yet being unsure of how best to act. It’s a funny feeling.

Oh, how I yearn for the return of Christ, when the old order of things will pass away, and all creation will be restored. I yearn for when there will be no more death, or crying or pain. For we are caught in the tension now, we have entered into the suffering of the world. Now we must choose how to respond. This is going to be a good two weeks.

8 comments:

Ryan said...

Interesting thoughts on the MDGs. I am curious though, does this actually need to be Christ centered? Although I believe the natural consequence of a life abiding in Christ is that of much fruit production, doesn't it seem that those who 'understand' this in the Church are absolutely trampled when it comes to literal production for those living in extreme poverty. And while Christ could come and wipe poverty off the face of the earth, he has also allowed conventional, secular plans an ability to work as well. Isn't this seen in the success of such things as the ONE campaign, (Product) Red, and other organizations that have cared far more for the literal needs of human sufferers than the church has?
I'm not so sure the thing we need is for Christ to come and simply take care of this. Maybe the best thing is for us, as members of the human race, as believers, as equal image bearers to begin to take on the overwhelming responsibility with which that entails?

Chip Huber said...

A question to wrestle with...is Jesus, is Holy Spirit directed activity, is God's design for His world actually embedded in the very thoughts and lives and the the ideas and structures developed by those God created simply because the design of the Creator overpowers and makes its way into the lives of those who don't acknowledge or be even aware of the God of the universe and the example of His Son...

It is a mystery for me as I watch the church follow the lead of the culture in some arenas (obviously not in many ways) instead of being the other way around...

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