Wednesday, 14 December 2011
The quote below is taken from CommonPrayer.net
The original “Old St. Nick” who inspired the tradition of Santa Claus, Nicholas was bishop of Myra in fourth-century Turkey. Little is known about his life except that he entrusted himself to -Jesus at an early age and, when his parents died, gave all of their possessions to the poor. While serving as bishop, Nicholas learned of three girls who were going to be sold into slavery by their father. Moved to use the church’s wealth to ransom the lives of these little ones, he tossed three bags of gold through the family’s window. We recall this ancient Christmas gift, even as we remember that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in the global sex trade today.
Remember your little ones, Lord : and give us courage to stand for them.
My congregation has a soft heart for the girls who are pulled into the world of sex trafficking. One of our elders has been in ChristianityToday talking about a group he is a part of called The Epik Project. They seek to create awareness of the sex trafficking evils in the United States, to educate and grow men so they may fight against the evil, and to rescue the girls trapped within the system of evil. I'm blessed to be a part of a congregation that cares about such an intimidating issue. This is a big problem in the Pacific Northwest sadly which means the problem is in our backyard. It's personal for us. It's scary for us. I am often afraid to face the issue but I know it is one that deserves my eyes, ears, heart, hands, and feet. The people of God are to be a people of love who seek justice (Micah 6:8) and stand up for the oppressed since we are the people of God and he is on the side of the oppressed (Psalm 103:6, Isaiah 58:6).
Nicholas of Myra motivated the Church around him to help rescue girls from slavery. Today the Church in the United States has an obligation to do this once again. The Advent season is as good a time as any, if not a better time, to start becoming aware of the slavery around us which destroys the lives of little girls and their families. Not only should the Church start creating awareness within herself about this issue but she should seek to be a refuge for the girls involved. Donations help, physical rescues help, ceasing to look at porn (which creates a demand for sex trafficking) helps, discipling men to be honorable helps, being honest about sex and teaching on it well helps, talking about the issue helps, and praying helps. It's a tragic ordeal. It must stop. The Church must stand up and do something about it. She must stop having a hand in the demand for sex trafficking and offer a hand to those trafficked so that may be pulled out.
Are you and/or your church already intentionally involved in fighting against sex trafficking? If not, do you think you need to be? What can you practical do in your local community and congregation to start making a difference this Advent season?