“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”-Matthew 23:23
Right now we are seeing a large amount of justice movements rising to the forefront. We are witnessing an awareness of epic proportions around topics as police brutality, equality for women, the unequal justice system, and more. There are systemic issues on all levels that need to be addressed and change is beginning to occur.
All of these movements stem from a long time, possibly a lifetime, of pain and frustration coming to a boiling point and overflowing with action. There are healthy ways to express the action and there are unhealthy ways and, unfortunately, we have seen both.
The question I ask in all of this is, why? I mean, I know why, but what is causing this to finally be happening?
I can say there are a lot of great things coming from these movements and awareness campaigns, but if I had to say there is only one, I would say
The voices are speaking loudly and people are rising up to express their emotions and calling for action.
Yet, we have to keep asking, why is this happening the way it is?
I firmly believe that God has instilled all of us with a sense of justice. We get uncomfortable when things are unfair. We get upset and agitated when what we feel is right isn’t being done and we want change.
Let’s think about this, even as kids, we would fight for what is fair. We would get upset if we did equal work or behaved better than another, yet they received an ice cream or candy and we didn’t. The cry of all children, “That’s not fair!” can be heard from miles around.
We get to our teen years in school, maybe this was just mine, but when I forgot my homework and received detention, but another person forgot their homework and they were told to bring it in later, I spoke out, and inevitably received a longer punishment.
We become adults and we see a price marked down on an item, it doesn’t ring up the way it was marked, we will fight to get that price the way it is marked, and we will seek justice!
Ok, that last one is a small case, but it is true. We have something in us that calls us to fight for what we believe to be right or just. I believe God has given that to us.
God came in the flesh as Jesus Christ to reveal to us how we are meant to live. The prophet Micah shared “He has shown you, O man, what is good: what does the Lord requires of you. Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). God then comes in the flesh to show us exactly what that means in everyday life.
Christ walked with the unloved. He served those who were servants. He humbled Himself to crouch down with the paralytics. He touched the lepers. He healed the sick. He ate with the outcasts. He was the example His people needed in order to truly know what it meant to do “what is good”.
He called all of His people to seek justice and mercy. He called all of His followers to live as He lived with a soft hand to touch those who are untouchable, but strong feet and a loud voice to seek change for those who are unable to walk or speak for themselves.
The Christian voice should be the loudest when it comes to seeking change and equality.
Yes, there are aspects to each movement that are inaccurate on their own, but it should be expected since it is man made. However, the passion to create change is God made. Through Him all things are made new and wisdom can be given to create honest, humble, loving, merciful, and justified movements in order to change the world.
Faith in Christ and standing for justice in the world go hand in hand. We cannot claim Christ and choose to ignore standing up for what is right.
Bias is gone because we see it all through the lens of our Creator. We serve all people. We love all people. We stand for all people. If there is a group being marginalized, we stand with them and for them. If there is a group being unfairly labeled, we stand with and for them. We don’t take sides, but walk equally.
We stand for love and justice because Jesus did and He called us to live like Him and teach what He taught (Matthew 28:16-20).
May we live for justice through our faith in Jesus Christ. May we do what He has shown to be good and right. May we be His peacemakers in a world longing to experience rest.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What is a way you can stand for change in your community?