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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 2, 2008

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 2, 2008 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2008
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 2, 2008

      **********

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
      devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
      Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      God and HIV/AIDS

      "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
      The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God's
      mercies never come to an end."
      Lamentations 3:21-22

      As an Internet pastor, I receive astonishing e-mail.
      One that deeply touched my heart was from a seeker
      in Zimbabwe. Things were very bad in her country,
      she wrote. A deadly combination of drought, famine,
      poverty, and HIV/AIDS was expected to take the lives
      of millions of Zimbabweans unless outside world
      relief organizations quickly intervened with food
      and urgently needed medical resources. Would I
      please write a series of meditations that she could
      e-mail throughout Zimbabwe, to encourage Christians
      of all sexual orientations living in the midst of
      such terrible sufferings? Of course, was my response
      and thus began a series of reflections titled, "To
      Zimbabwe with Love."

      I quickly learned Zimbabwe has one of the world's
      highest HIV/AIDS infection rates and wrote the
      following reflection. I invite you to think of
      your own birth country whenever you read,
      "Zimbabwe."

      As Christians, we must constantly remind others
      and ourselves that HIV/AIDS remains a growing
      global epidemic. Although there is no cure for
      HIV/AIDS, there is spiritual strength for the
      journey. Through our lives and churches, we must
      reach out to those living with HIV/AIDS with God's
      generous and nonjudgmental love.

      HIV is not "just a gay disease." AIDS is no
      respecter of sexual orientation, gender, culture,
      economic status, or religious preference. This
      disease affects and infects millions of people
      around the world. We must remind our young and
      old alike that HIV/AIDS is a reality in today's
      world. It is a local as well as global problem,
      for the majority of people do not know they are
      infected. Tragically, far too many live where
      life-saving medications are unavailable.

      In twenty years, experts predict there will be more
      than 40 million orphans under the age of 15 in 23
      countries. HIV/AIDS will claim the lives of both
      their parents. AIDS is quickly wiping out the
      gains made in life expectancy in many countries.

      What can we do? Begin locally. Make a difference
      in HIV awareness right now. An old proverb reminds
      us an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
      The spread of HIV can be dramatically prevented
      through education. Learn how to prevent this
      disease. Pray for and support your doctors and
      educators who are training people in these life-
      saving areas. Break the silence that so often
      surrounds AIDS. By doing so, you will save lives.

      Do not shun those with the disease, rather, open
      your arms to them in love and concern. Comfort
      and encourage those struggling with HIV/AIDS with
      the compassion of Jesus Christ. When daily
      realities are overwhelming, remember God's
      enormous love for you and Zimbabwe never ceases.
      God is faithful and will not abandon you. God's
      mercies are new every morning; tenderly reaching
      out to Zimbabwe. Do the best you can with what
      you have, and live each day in the steadfast and
      unchanging love of God.

      Faithful God, we pray for each person affected by
      HIV/AIDS around the world. We pray for a cure for
      this dread disease, and for equity and justice in
      the medical and drug distribution to those living
      with AIDS. May your unceasing, steadfast love for
      people living with HIV/AIDS be evident through our
      words and deeds of compassion. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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