“BLACK LIVES MATTER”, “ALL LIVES MATTER”, “ME TOO”
These are the shouts from those who have not been heard, who have been mistreated or felt forgotten. Injustice plagues our society, our countries and has always been a part of the human culture for centuries! So now what?! Will we continue to cry out, is there no end in sight, no solution, no restoration?! What is God saying or showing us through the life of Christ that will push us past social justice and into the realm of restorative Justice?
As Christians, do we follow our own knowledge and understanding rather than look to God and his examples? There is countless social justice paired with restorative justice narratives that God has outlined in his word. The answer to “Now what?” is there! Here is a glimpse of one of the devotionals in our new book, The Book of EL: A 31-day Devotional for Love and Justice.
Get mad! When we get angry at injustice we connect our hearts with the heart of God. We learn to “be angry and sin not” as we are filled with righteous indignation. Being complacent in the face of injustice is being complicit with the wrongs in your community. Too many of us dismiss inequities because they do not seem to directly affect us. Lost in our own world, we are aloof to the suffering of those on the other side of the tracks. We think that what we don’t know won’t hurt us. But truthfully, we are lost in lala land fighting over rubbish while people are dying, unjust laws are passed, and our own liberties are being removed.
We have sat in too many church meetings that entertain pointless conversations that have nothing to with the real life issues of people in the pews and neighborhood. We’ve seen too many people whose conversation is always about self.
The truth of the matter is this: when we fail to observe our world through the lenses of Christ, we miss opportunities. We love to hide behind the walls of the church, our homes, careers, or relationships instead of opening our eyes to the world around us. Jesus needs your talents, your gifts to do your part in weaving the fabric of love this world desperately craves. But oftentimes, the world’s problems seem too big and we opt to focus on our own comfort and self-interest. These pursuits are often entangled with the devil’s plan to keep us from engaging in the war against sin and keep us from fulfilling our purpose. We must learn to get angry.
”Be Angry and Sin Not”
Anger is not always bad. God has given us this emotion for good. We often use it for our own desires, revenge and outbursts. But if we lean into the emotion of anger we will begin to hate what God hates. We will begin to love what God loves. We will burn with passion to move into action and transform His world. Righteous anger fuels the engine of God’s justice. So reflect for a minute and allow the Spirit to consume your desires. Where is the Holy Spirit leading you? What disturbs you? What is he asking you to help change? Allow His anger to fuel your life’s purpose.
Take a moment now and think about the questions above. Answer them if you can and accept the challenge this year by starting with the month of January to seek out injustice and create a space of restoration through out your communities.
The book of El magnifies the Bible’s narratives of Jesus restoring the least, the last, the lost and the left out. The 31-day devotional helps you to process and put into action small or big steps that you can do individually or with a group to infiltrate communities and answer the question of “Now what?”
Through prayer and reflection, you will be challenged to seek his face, hear his voice and actively engage your community with simple steps of restorative justice. Join us starting January 1st and every month after in 2020 to “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God!” (Micah 6:8) Let’s live Micah 6:8 every day of 2020!!