Faith that speaks to reality
Alina Saucedo, our Seminary Intern, reflects on her experience this summer. Her area of focus has been the maternal mortality crisis in the United States of America.
About a year ago, I witnessed first-hand how discriminatory healthcare can harm a pregnant woman’s body, mental health, and self-worth. The direct implications were clear - on the well-being of a newborn, the new family, and the whole community where she belongs.
This summer, my internship with the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) focused on the Maternal mortality crisis in the United States of America. My time here has challenged me to connect this experience and the reality of others with my call to ministry.
Specifically, it has led me to consider its connection to advocating for life for the whole human community, especially for those who may not think or look like me, those who are the most vulnerable and marginalized.
How does our Christian faith connect us to this reality? What does the Good News, in the here and now, look like for mothers and their infants when their lives are unnecessarily at risk?
As seminary students and future pastors, we sometimes get caught up in the understanding that doing theology stops in thinking, preaching, and articulating what we believe. The reality is different. These theological questions confront our practices and experiences in life, with our neighbors and creation, so we can see the broken reality around us, challenging us to take a position about it.
Our faith must connect us with real life. It must help us speak about reality, speak to, and transform that reality when this does not reflect the Good News for people.
A faith that lives disconnected from the struggles and sufferings of the people is a faith limited to the text. This is a faith without effect, without impact, without life, without the presence of God transforming our days. A faith that does not transform the life of the community we are all part of.
After this time of deep reflection, learning, and serving at GBCS, I have confirmed that what we preach must be practiced. Each one of us, as Christians, must take a position and take action to transform the life around us into one that brings life for all human beings to flourish.
Faith in God and following Christ’s mission leads us to connect with this shattered reality and implies the call to change it when this harms, hurts, and excludes God’s created people and creation. This is not an option. This is what we are being called for, to join Jesus as, “He saw the crowds with compassion because they were harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 NRSV).
We are to remember that as, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,” we are all called. Therefore, let us, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers [us] into the harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38 NRSV, adapted).
As I prepare for the end of this Summer, I receive His words and plan to share and invite all to this work of compassion and advocacy for justice and to love God and one another doing it.