When John the Baptist was in prison he sent his disciples to see if Jesus was the one they had been waiting for or if they should wait for someone else. Jesus answered, ““Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.” Jesus reiterated the prophetic message that the coming of the Messiah would be a time of care for the poor and needy as well as a time for the preaching of God’s love and forgiveness for sinners. It would be the whole package.
What ‘s in a name? LCMS World Relief and Human Care showed the whole package. We had a wonderful brand and we actually did what the bylaws of our Board said we should do and that was to express God’s love by caring for humans. It seems like a novel idea to some theologians and even some of our lay people.
One of the ways we tried to express what we were about was through branding and images. This picture according to some people who should now may have been one of the greatest examples of a “brand” that anyone had seen in a long time.
Divine love – Human Care was a great image. It says it all. Because of God’s love we care for humans. Because of Divine Love we can care for other humans. A CEO of a Lutheran Social Service Agency told me this poster was the greatest image he had every seen to help people see why mercy agencies do what they do. The large image of Jesus is composed of many smaller pictures of human beings. Some are in need and some are helping. It was and is impressive.
The LCMS underwent restructuring. All the Boards were placed under two Boards. There was a definite reason for it and someday I will explain what I think it was. My concern is that our emphasis upon Mercy has been put onto the back burner. Our mercy workers and missionaries are great and they are compassionate folk who need and deserve our support and prayer. But mercy and compassion as a corporate act by the church at every level is a Divine imperative, and it needs to be in the same sentence as the preaching of the Gospel.
Divine Love – Human Care. That says it all.