Young Christians lament injustice

Last night, I was privileged to lead hundreds of young Christians in a time of lament as part of the Poverty and Advocacy track at Urbana 2009. We came together to cry out to God on behalf of those suffering from injustice and oppression, and particularly, as part of the Human Wrong Initiative, on behalf of millions of children trapped in modern slavery: in forced prostitution, forced labor, or recruited to be child soldiers. We came together to mourn the wrong that we see in the world, following the biblical precedents of the psalmists, of the prophets, and of Jesus, in engaging with God in prayer to seek change.

My role was to prepare the way for lament: to lay the biblical foundations, to provide a framework for engaging in lament, and to encourage a safe environment in which lament could take place. The rest was up to the students and God.

And boy, did we meet with God …

One of the last points that I made was that biblical lament stirs us to action and partnership with God. In Luke 19, Jesus wept over Jerusalem. He cried, “Oh, if you only knew the things that make for peace …” And then he went and cleared the temple. My prayer for those who engaged last night is that they use that session as a launching pad to do great and mighty things in the service of the kingdom of God.

[You can find recorded webcasts of the main Urbana 09 events here.]

The last weeks of 2009

Last week, I celebrated Christmas with Aaron, Amy and Elijah in Huntington, WV, home of Marshall University (“We Are Marshall”) and of Amy’s family. It was great spending a few days outside of DC, and with an awesome and wonderfully welcoming family.

To boot, last week …

  • I got to go on a tour of the East Wing of the White House.
  • I got to talk with family in Australia, Hong Kong, and California.
  • I got to talk with friends in New Zealand, Pennsylvania, Texas, and California. (What up, iChat video conferencing?!)
  • I got to watch a truckload of enjoyable movies: Avatar, Invictus, The Blind Side, The Invention of Lying, and Sherlock Holmes.

It was a good week. 🙂

[For Christmas pics, check out my Facebook.]

This week, I’m in snowbound St Louis for Urbana 2009, InterVarsity’s triennial missions conference. I’m here with Sojourners, who are co-leading the Poverty and Advocacy track along with World Vision and International Justice Mission. It’s the first time in Urbana’s history that they’re looking at advocacy as a form of mission, and so it’s a pretty momentous occasion and an exciting development.

One of the things we’re launching this week is the Human Wrong Initiative, which is geared towards combating child slavery in all its forms: prostitution, forced labor, and child-soldiering. Of the 27 million people still in slavery today, about half are women and children.

This is how the world is today. But it is not how the world should be. Nor how the world needs to be. Join us, get involved, let your friends know. Let’s stamp out child slavery.

The other thing that’s happening (that I’m involved with) is helping Sojourners lead a night of lament for the injustice in the world; that’ll take place tomorrow (December 29th). I’ll only be speaking for a few minutes, but I’m gonna be laying the groundwork for the couple hundred students in our track to engage with God in this way, so I’d appreciate your prayers!

[Pics to Urbana will follow. :)]

Christmastime Links

Hope you all had a great Christmas and are recovering nicely from eating bountifully!

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Human trafficking

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Miscellaneous

Free Acoustic Worship Album

… from the folks over at Worship Central, featuring Tim Hughes, Ben Cantalon, Al Gordon, and Nikki Fletcher. Go here to download it.

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Prayer

H/T to Cathleen Falsani over at The Dude Abides:

A Christmas Prayer
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father,
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing
which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning
make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus’ sake.

Amen.

Do you love me enough to let me go?

A new favorite song:

Oh, I’m a wandering soul;
I’m still walking the line that leads me home alone.
All I know, I’ve still got mountains to climb on my own, on my own.

Do you love me enough to let me go?
Do you love me enough to let me go?
To let me follow through, to let me fall for you, my love.
Do you love me enough to let me go?

Back from the dead of winter,
back from the dead and all our leaves are dry.
You’re so beautiful tonight.

Back from the dead we went through,
back from the dead and both our tongues are tied.
You look beautiful tonight.

But every seed dies before it grows.

Do you love me enough to let me go?
Do you love me enough to let me go?
To let me follow through, to let me fall for you, my love.
Do you love me enough to let me go?

Breathe it in, and let it go.
Every breath you take is not yours to own; it’s not yours to hold.
Do you love me enough to let me go?

Do you love me enough to let me go?
Do you love me enough to let me go?
To let me follow through, to let me fall for you, my love.
Do you love me enough to let me go?

– Switchfoot, “Enough to Let Me Go,” from Hello Hurricane

Links of the Day, December 22

I’m gonna be away from tomorrow until January 2. I’ll try to post some links while I’m out, but no guarantees! Merry Christmas and happy new year to you all!

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