I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday as we were quite busy going over policy issues and messaging. But today, at this 3rd day of Voices for Justice 2010, we have started doing the practical work of visiting our MPs to give them our asks of increasing Australia’s ODA from 0.5% to 0.7% of GNI by 2015, and of increasing our action on climate change as this is a poverty issue.
This morning the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition spoke at what was quite literally our signature event – signing the Micah Call – a statement pledging to support the aims of Micah Challenge – something that 112,000 other Australians have signed. When Mr. Abbott spoke, he mentioned that we are nags and that people in power need nags like us to keep them accountable.
One of the things that has jumped out at me at this event is that our times of worship – when we’re singing – are so much more meaningful in the context of what we are ultimatelyhere for. Over the last 2 days we have spent a bit of time singing songs of praise to God for who He is – a God of justice, mercy, and compassion. And it meant so much more than just words, as we were here in the nation’s capital to put into practice the words of the prophet Micah – to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). The worship was not just a feel-good session of empty praise. I’m so glad to be part of a movement like this where we can put into action on a large scale what we all have a deep conviction about – that God hates poverty and commands us to work to alleviate it as our life’s calling.
Another thing I have found encouraging this time is seeing so many young people here. This year there are 320 of us and the majority would be in their 20s. As someone who is now in his 40s, I am so encouraged to see young people with such energy, such conviction and such passion for following Jesus on the journey to live out Micah’s call. One person in the group said they were here to get out of their confort zone. How impressive is that?! In a society that values comfort and ease above all else, we need more people who will live out the call to a discipleship that means taking up our cross and following Jesus regardless of the cost.
Tomorrow I hope to blog about our poet Cam Semmens and his little pieces of wisdom and wit, as well as some stuff on the prophetic engagement with the powers. ‘Til then…