What Does it Mean to Embody God’s love?

by Michaela Pereira '12

“Justice Week is not just one week out of the year where we pay attention to God’s call to live justly, but it is a reminder that we have been called to live God’s Kingdom justice daily,” said Azusa Pacific Pastor Woody Moorwood, who introduced Justice Week at chapel on January 24.

This year’s theme for Justice Week was “The World Became Flesh,” which corresponded with APU’s 2010-11 University Passage, John 1.

In a blog post, Matt Visser, director of the Office of Ministry and Service discussed the week’s events and said the theme “emphasizes the need to embody the good news of God’s love for others in daily life. Justice Week aims to highlight complex issues and the challenges of following the life and teachings of Jesus, and we want students to explore what it means to live out the Gospel.”

Students participated in a number of activities and lectures throughout the week, including a showing of the award-winning documentary, Kiss My Wheels. The documentary focused on an entire season, including their national championship games, of a wheelchair basketball junior league.

Travis Davis ‘11, an English major who was part of the team featured in the film, said, “Instead of hearing me talk, the film was a good opportunity for people to see a group of disabled people and how they cope.”

In light of embodying God’s love through his actions, Davis shared, “I am able to do anything I put my mind to and I am determined to be independent in my daily life”.

Jimmy Castillo, a graduate student in APU’s College Counseling and Student Development program was one of the many students involved with Justice Week. He served with the blood drive, which supported Nepal-based Tiny Hands, an organization that seeks to free women from sex trafficking and serve the street children.

“The blood that students donate not only benefits patients who are in need of blood, but also raises $20 for each donor for Tiny Hands, which will help the organization free women from sex trafficking,” said Castillo.

Visser shared his hope for the outcome of this year’s Justice Week saying, “I hope students can leave with a greater sense of identifying themselves as people who can make an impact.”

Other events throughout the week included a Walk with Me interactive event that focused on raising awareness about homelessness, and a Coffeehouse which allowed APU students to express their desire for justice using spoken word and music.

In addition to education and conversation, Justice Week offered several opportunities to put words into action by embodying students to give time, food, blood, and clothes.

As an APU body of Christ, we have been called to be an example of God’s Kingdom where it is not just one week out of the year where we pay attention to God’s call to live justly, but it is a reminder.