At least I’m consistent. In 2017, I published this in our LSC Voices magazine. My thinking hasn’t changed and it seems more relevant today when addressing racial justice and serving those in need. For your viewing pleasure:
A new Reformation?
Jesus Christ turned our world on its head, but it seems society, then and now, just won’t listen. We persist in allowing society and its winners to define who the winners and losers are.
I personally come from a long line of losers: Eve and Adam got kicked out of the garden; Jesus was crucified; Martin Luther was excommunicated. My poor immigrant ancestors fled Germany and then were on the wrong side of the Civil War; the people of my German heritage created one of the saddest eras in human history that included the horrors of Adolph Hitler and the Holocaust.
Times and perspectives change. From that ignominious past, I now find myself more of a winner according to the societal definition: I have a strong family, a good education, and a good job. I’m privileged and in good health. Much has been handed to me, and I have worked hard to take advantage of what was given to me.
Let’s throw Lutheran Services Carolinas in there too. As CEO I find it difficult to talk independently because we’re all in this together. LSC has been on a path from small nonprofit to fairly significant two-state ministry. With a $139 million budget, LSC has more than 2,000 teammates who work to provide multiple services. LSC has been effective, strong, and nimble. We are growing.
What can LSC do as an organization, and what can I do as an individual to honor what God has provided? I guess we and I could protect our positions, but that’s not very godly. I am reminded of the M’s: Matthew and Micah. Christ tells us that the second commandment, right after loving God, is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In Micah we are taught to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Christ turns winners and losers on their heads. Think of the Resurrection. Think of the rich man and the eye of the needle. Think about societal success versus Christ’s vision for humanity.
Here in 2017, on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we have the opportunity to participate in a new Reformation to serve seniors, children, and families who don’t have the resources or ability to care for themselves. Our Reformation vision and mission gives us hands to serve and voices to advocate. Government is not all bad. In our country, government and nonprofits like LSC collaborate to provide essential services to people – people who could be you and me. So we lift our voices for our neighbors, often those who can’t speak for themselves: for nursing home residents, direct care workers who deserve a living wage, and foster children. We lift our voices for affordable health care for all; we lift our voices for veterans, refugees, and people with developmental disabilities and mental illness.
Please join LSC in embracing our heritage and using it and our voices to love our neighbor.