From the Editor (January 2014)

responsejan2014cover247

Look at the nations and see! Be astonished! Be astounded! For a work is being done in
your days that you would not believe if you were told.
Habakkuk 1:5

The first time I read those words I nearly cried. It was the early 1980s during the anti-apartheid movement, and the South African government had just declared a state of emergency. Mass arrests and murders were underway to enforce it. My distress over these events was compounded when some Christian friends told me I would not have been so troubled if I were closer to Christ, more spiritual. This made me angry, and I told
God so.

After a while the anger mixed with hurt. Then I opened my Bible and read my complaint to God in the words of Habakkuk (1:2-4). God’s reply to the prophet, in Habakkuk 1:5, felt like a balm. Years later, I remembered those words as I watched Nelson Mandela, then newly released from prison, speak at Riverside Church in New York City. Honestly, had anyone told me that day with my friends that Mr. Mandela would be president of the nation that imprisoned him for 27 years, let alone that I would see him when he was released and visiting my city, I would not have believed it.

Today I think of God’s words in Habakkuk when something particularly tragic or incomprehensible happens or when the news media broadcasts a problem with no apparent way out. The good news, the great news, is that God is still at work in the world. And the incredible news is that God desires us as partners in that work! United Methodist
Women has a special assignment in this partnership: the needs of women, children, youth and “the least of these,”Christ’s kin. In this new year, commit to invite some woman you know to join in this partnership and share in the joy of being in mission.

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