I am excited that I was asked by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the ONE Campaign to contribute a preaching resource to be distributed nationally by the ELCA and ONE in preparation for “Lazarus Sunday”, an advocacy event that will take place on April 10, 2011. Christine Merkel-Nessel provided liturgical resources and I engaged the task of preaching.
What does the message of Jesus have to say about the global HIV/AIDS Pandemic? As a people entrusted with the treasure of the Gospel, how will the church carry out our mission in a 21stcentury world where millions continue to die, especially among the poor, because of a disease that is both preventable and treatable? Clearly, the response must be more than a sermon. At the same time, faithful proclamation that connects the gospel of Jesus Christ to these critical questions is an absolute necessity.
Faced with the reality of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it is critical that proclamation of the gospel include an intentional effort to increase awareness and inspire advocacy. Preaching must not shy away from both the facts about HIV/AIDS and the stories of lives impacted.