We all want to live a life that is meaningful. Purposeful.
As a Christ-follower, this includes living a life that glorifies God. I long to be salt and light in the world that brings praise and honor to Him alone.
A small passage in the Bible summarizes the journey. The Lord requires three things from us (Micah 6:8):
- Love mercy
- Walk humbly
- Act justly
We in the Christian community talk much about “love mercy” and “walk humbly”. We don’t get it right all the time, but we try. They frequently appear in sermons, curriculum, articles, and blogs.
But what of “act justly”?? What about rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan, pleading for the widow? (Isaiah 1:17) What about abuse and violence toward the poor, the alien, and the vulnerable among us?
Uh oh... this 3rd requirement of “act justly” treads into murky waters. We often want to look the other way. It’s too messy. It’s too big. It’s too political. It’s too complicated.
It’s even a bit uncomfortable to write this now. But when I recently assessed my own little world, I was struck by the “safe bubble” in which I live. The majority of the planet is not able to reside in the bubble with me.
Nevertheless, it’s there. Indeed … we must be about the work of justice!
The Locust Effect
I’m delighted to share that I am a member of the International Justice Mission’s launch team for Gary Haugen’s new book, The Locust Effect. Being released in February 2014, The Locust Effect highlights the tragic results of violence and corruption on the poor.
Truly… humanitarian efforts of microloan-based small businesses, increased housing, and farming improvements are all laid waste by this all-too-common plague of violence and injustices. Hope is lost. Brokenness abounds.
Bringing It Home
My church, Centreville Presbyterian, boldly stepped out this Christmas to make justice issues our Advent focus. IJM’s Bill Clark came and shared a powerful message about justice on the first week of Advent; followed then by sermons each week from our pastor.
It was a bit uncomfortable. It was a bit troubling to wrestle with these issues during Advent. But as Jesus Immanuel clearly told the people in the synagogue, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19) THIS is why the Babe in the manger came.
I am reading the pre-release edition of the book and am deeply moved by the research, case studies, and the crisis of violence. I look forward to bringing the conversation to you! The Locust Effect is about the starting the difficult conversations. Together, globally, we can and need to step out to be the voice of the those with no voice.
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