Letting Justice Flow
As headlines swirl with news of the recent expiration of unemployment benefits for thousands of individuals, many have asked what role the church should play in helping to meet the needs of those hardest hit by the country’s economic downturn. As we grapple with this tough issue in our respective communities, let us not forget that God dealt with the issues of poverty and justice first. Why else would these topics be mentioned over 2100 times within the pages of Scripture?
But as faith leaders, simply offering charity is not enough. As a matter of fact, Jesus noted this by saying: “Human beings cannot live on bread alone” (Luke 4.4, GNT). Martin Luther King Jr. often pointed out that it was Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount that inspired the non-violent resistance of the civil rights movement. Similarly, we need to speak out for justice – we need to “let justice flow like a stream,” as Amos 5.24 puts it, because every man, woman and child under God is entitled to justice. Through the exercise of justice we recognize the unique value and dignity of every human being.
Today, let us look at those who are less fortunate than we are through the loving and redeeming eyes of God. From the poverty-stricken barrios in Texas, to the thousands of homeless persons on the streets of New York City, to the hotel workers struggling for equal rights in Los Angeles, these individuals are on God’s heart and should be on ours as well!