Thursday, December 3
Shadow

World AIDS Day (an Advent Reflection)

Post 4 in the Crystallize Meaning through Creativity: An Advent Event
Scripture: Isaiah 2:2-4
Please offer a link to your Advent Reflection using Mr. Linky. Or you can leave a reflection via the comments.

A note about Tracy. Tracy has been a road warrior fighting for a cure for AIDS and HIV as long as I have known her-which at this point is considerably longer than I’d like to acknowledge! (Hah!) Please join us in honoring all the people in the world that are fighting to live. In 2011, there were about 34 million people living with HIV. (avert.org). That is a big chunk of God’s kingdom! It is such a blessing to have Tracy doing Kingdom work in this way. Brava, Tracy!

World AIDS Day

Tracy Daugherty, Bear Creek United Methodist Church

The night I stumbled across my first World AIDS Day observation in our national’s capital, AIDS was the last topic I wanted to think about but the only one on my mind since my brother and I had spent much of the cross-country flight working hard to make the end-of-life choices that had to be made now that his fight with HIV was rapidly coming to an end. Yet even that dark World AIDS Day was bracketed in hope; it flickered in the last-minute (late for our plane) urgency with which Bret gathered up pamphlets to educate his east coast friends about HIV and in the candlelight vigil we happened upon 24 hours later along the White House lawn.

In the two decades since, that spark of hope has ignited into a beacon of optimism for 34 million people infected with HIV and countless more who love and care and fight for them. Even as scientists strive to contain a constantly evolving virus, prevention messages and treatment delivery methods are now customized to address varying cultural and social needs. New focus on HIV stigma now shines a light on human rights violations, like ending violence against women, that challenge individuals and countries alike to consider the worth and inherent dignity of every human being. This year, the December 1st World AIDS Day falls on the first day of Advent and while I continue to mourn the loss of my brother and millions more to AIDS, I rejoice in the hope embodied in the coming of our Savior and our joining together to build God’s healing kingdom here on earth.

In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
    Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

A Red Ribbon hanging in the North Portico of the White House in Observation of World AIDS Day. Photo: WikiMedia Commons, Eric Draper “This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.”
A Red Ribbon hanging in the North Portico of the White House in Observation of World AIDS Day.
Photo: WikiMedia Commons, Eric Draper

(c) 2013, Tracy Daugherty

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