Come, Lord Jesus, come. I can almost hear the voices of men, women, and children in the Congo bidding Jesus to come and be among them. Yet again, the violence in Eastern Congo is alarming. While the situation in Goma has slightly quieted in the last week or so, we know too well that at any given moment violence could again erupt.
Come, Lord Jesus, come. I can practically picture our sisters and brothers in Syria and Gaza and Israel-indeed, throughout the Middle East. I can see them physically beckoning the Prince of Peace to show up among them.
Many have asked me, “Why respond to a situation that never seems to improve? It seems that no matter what we do, violence and hardship still prevail. Can we truly make a difference?”
Can we truly make a difference, even in a place mired in poverty, conflict, and suffering, like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Middle East?
The answer is a resounding yes. YES!
Not only are we making a difference, but we are also living our faith by responding to the Gospel. As a result of our thoughtful and intentional choices, we make an impact on people’s very lives. People are fed. Bodies are healed. Communities are protected. Lives are literally saved. Why? Because you gave. Because you had faith. Because you understood that even though you may enjoy the basic necessities of life, far too many do not, and until they also enjoy those same basic necessities, none of us are truly leading abundant lives.
As writer and theologian Frederick Buechner put it, “Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It's the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” This is the Ubuntu ethic out of Africa: "I am what I am because of who we all are." Claiming the abundant life that Christ promised all of us: Week of Compassion allows all those who participate in this ministry of sharing to claim the abundant life for themselves precisely because they are able to give, while at the same time offers a more abundant life for those who are in desperate need.
When we give, we are bidding Christ to come.During this season of Advent, this season of arriving, we bid Jesus once again to come. In so doing, we are making a big, bold faith statement that we believe in the power of our Lord and Savior to use us to make a lasting difference in this world. Whether it’s the Congo, the Middle East, the East Coast, or our home communities, we have the power to change lives. Believe it.
For more information on how your gifts and resources are changing lives, please visit these Week of Compassion partners:
- Global Ministries Africa
- New Advocacy Report: The M23 and the Crisis in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Global Ministries Middle East
- IMA World Health
- ACT Alliance Congo
- ACT Alliance Syria
- ACT Alliance Palestine
- ACT Alliance Israel
Come, Lord Jesus, come. Empower us with Your Courageous Compassion.