There was a guy named Jesus who had many ideas about how to live out social justice which often flew in the face of convention & made many people uncomfortable. Below is one example of how He encouraged people to live... "Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid by God....” Lk14
What if you or those in your community began living this principle out? What if your & your friends occasionally carved out holes in your schedule for dates & dinner parties for those who live on the margins? The wall flowers & social awkwards & outcasts, the poor or homeless, those who other people go through great lengths to exclude from their lives? What would an evening look like spent listening to their stories & sharing your own? Whether such evenings turned out seemingly fruitful or fruitless, Jesus told his audience that if they began carving out space in their life for such times & such relationships, that God Himself would respond in repayment & blessing.
It's interesting that Jesus suggested something as simple & ordinary as sharing a meal together as a catylist for extraordinary social justice. Social Justice through huge rally marches, & in successful justice legislation, & through nation-wide Campaigns is crucial. But social justice is also & perhaps best enacted down in lifestyles, between small groups & individuals who accept a mad mission to include in their lives & feasts & funds & hearts, those who largely live lonely... avoided... ignored.
It's risky. It's a mad mission.
Use great wisdom... but jump headlong into it just the same.
I sat with Mrs S. the other day. She's kind of the matriarch of Reid Park. She used to be the Neighborhood Association President, but had to step down to battle breast cancer, which she eventually beat. Then her mother grew ill & Mrs S. had to take care of here till her mother's death. Mrs S. knows the stories of Reid Park.She's been there over 50 years. As we sit on her porch chairs & swat flies, I tell her about The Justice Project & she recounts the recent shootings in the community & points out the houses where bullets have ricocheted into the windows of homes owned by the elderly. Neighbors see her on the porch & waive as they pass by. Yep, she knows almost everyone on Reid Park, & almost everyone knows her. She has asked to help out with The Justice Project. I told her we needed her knowledge of the neighborhoods history, it's trouble spots, it's needs.
Mrs S herself has a need. The pipe under her kitchen sink leaks. Has for a while. A long while. She can't afford a plumber, so she just keeps a bucket under there to prevent water damage. Anybody guy out there wanna go take a look an see if it's something simple to fix? E-reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Curtis Honeycutt “For I, the Lord, love justice…” -Isaiah 61:8
The Bible has several themes woven throughout it. You can read the Bible looking for a theme of redemption & find it over and over again. You can look through the Bible & find examples of God’s faithfulness countless times. When you read the Bible, do you ever look for themes of justice? If not, let me tell you, justice is all over the place in the Bible. What do I mean by justice? Am I talking about the nickname for Chuck Norris‘ roundhouse-kicking right boot? Those are both good questions. In the original Hebrew and Greek, the words that we translate into “justice” in English are very closely related to “righteousness”. That is why you will often find the phrase “justice and righteousness” side by side like Abbott and Costello. They’re inseparable. When I discuss justice on this blog, I am talking primarily about right conduct in relation to others, especially with regard to the rights of others (borrowed some wording from bible-history.com). The bottom line is, God’s heart beats for the needs of people who are at a disadvantage, whether it’s a physical, spiritual, or economic shortcoming, and He has entrusted the Church to pursue justice for these individuals and love them well. I just found this Bible that highlights poverty and justice…a similar concept as The Green Bible that I wrote about a while ago. It’s called, appropriately, The Poverty and Justice Bible. Y
I spoke with Angela Edwards late in the week, last week. Her
13yr. old daughter Brandy was taken to a mental facility off of
Billingsley last Tue. She had been threatening her older sister with
knifes. Angela called the police to help her intervene with Brandy.
When they arrived Brandy ran away...thankfully they found her. Also
Angela convinced them not to press charges against Brandy, which they
could have done. Angela didn't want DSS to have ammunition against her
regarding her grandson Farrell, who she has temporary custody over. If
there is any violence in the home they could potentially take Farrell
from her. The officers said they only wanted Brandy to get the help
she needs with her anger problems not to arrest her. She was taken and
has been given medication to curb her anger tendency's. As of right
now she is still in the facility.
Joseph her 15 yr old, who mentally is more like an 8 yr old has
been hanging out with a 26 yr old who breaks into homes. Joseph was
with him when he was caught and arrested. The officers showed mercy to
Joseph b/c of his mental issues which local police are aware of.
Currently there is a bed being held for Joseph at a group home called
Miracle House. She is currently=y waiting for her paper work to be
approved. At the Miracle House there are 6 boys in at a time who help
build structure for the boys. Here they learn discipline and earn the
right to go back home. There is a spiritual enfaces at the Miracle
House that gives Angela hope for Joseph and her situation.
Please be praying......
1. That there be no outburst from Joseph before he goes to the
Miracle house. That nothing would happen in the interim to prevent him
from going to that house. That a bed would continue to be held for
him!!! That the Miracle House would truly be a miracle for that young
2. That Brandy would be able to come to grips with her rebellious
spirit. That she would welcome the help that has been given to her and
use it for good.
REAL PEOPLE WITH REAL TRIALS... And you've been invited to step in & help. Welcome to the Justice Project. Get your feet wet. Get your "pray" on.
They say that of them, those people of God. They say they serve God but in ways that let God serve the poor through them too. Well, that's what they say. They say they work for justice & love mercy both in the 3rd worlds of national tragedy & human trafficking...and in their own backyards, where the urban jungle unleashes its own version of genocide, slavery, & chemical warfare. They say they are those who, like the Samaritans of old, would tear their shirt to bandage the wounds of the needy, without feeling the need to 1st have the wounded man justify his need for such treatment. And without turning away simply because the world is full of much more needy people than that beaten & bloodied fallen man the others passed by. Yeah, they call them Christians, those of whom it is said, like their leader, they 'd take time with a cheating tax collectors as well as with the high & holy of the temple. They say of these Christ-followers that they make feasts & invite the poor, the marginalized, & the needy; & that they carve out space in their weeks & months to get on the gritty streets of the broken to bring healing & bread & listening ears. Well, so they say. I have yet to meet more than one like that. Have you? God once spoke to me :"If you can't find these kind...make some." And with that... I welcome all you good souls to The Justice Project: where ordinary Joes learn to see Jesus in the least & serve him there with their much.