Want to have a peek into my brain this week?
You’re in luck 🙂 Today I felt like it was time to share some of the things I really just can’t get off my mind. Things that have become very important to me. Things involving lots of prayer and asking God for wisdom. So, if you’ve got a moment, take a look!
1. This Video: If it’s the only thing you get to today, please Watch Session Two of this great study! What an incredibly great and inspiring definition of living out justice. Ben and I watched this last night, and all I could think of is how perfectly he described everything I’ve been wrestling with this year.
2. If you haven’t yet heard, Amnesty International recently voted to decriminalize prostitution, arguing that it would better protect those involved. During my weeks at SHINE, we had tons of discussion about the sex trade vs. sex trafficking. Can they be separated? Should they be separated? What are the implications of each choice? I would encourage you to read this article for a good look at some of the reasons decriminalization is usually NOT a good option.
3. You may have seen this one floating around cyberspace this week…I have to admit this is where so much of the prayer has come in. How to even address such a systematic crime? It’s a lot easier to know what to do about these things in my own community. But I’ve seen enough of these articles coming through in the last six months to feel it’s important for us to start talking about more. I’ve been so encouraged to read Ann Voskamp’s posts on what pre-emptive love might look like for us as Christians.
4. And lastly, ethical shopping. If you’ve talked to me at all lately, you know it’s been a lot on our minds. How does the Bible’s command to “be generous to the poor” fit in here? As we’ve done some research in the past few weeks especially, here are some great resources we’ve found:
A fabulous article by my friend Molly: Ethics and Your Wardrobe (aka why should I even care about this??)
How to Start Shopping Ethically (And again, why? from End Slavery Now)
Micah Challenge: Great Resources #1 and #2
As I end this post, I realize reading a lot of these articles can make it very easy to despair. To feel like our small efforts will never overcome enormous and far-away issues. There are so many areas of injustice I haven’t even touched on here! So I wanted to end with this reminder from Isaiah 59.
Almost the entire chapter is full of disappointment and judgement because of the lack of justice found among the Israelites. “Therefore justice is far from us…we hope for light, and behold, darkness…justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away….Truth is lacking”. All these phrases can feel so real about our current world when we take a look at what’s really going on.
Now this isn’t good news, as vs. 15 tells us that “the Lord saw it, and it displeased him, that there was no justice.” We do have the responsibility to work towards justice as His people! But we don’t have to do it alone–look at vs 16:
“He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede, then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.”
And in vs. 19: “So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives.”
I just love this. When there is justice lacking, it definitely displeases God. But he’s not hindered by our failures, or by the fact that we as one person just can’t do it all. He will accomplish His ultimate goals, in His power. We don’t have to bear the weight of it on our shoulders, but simply join with Him as best as we can. Using our everyday, ordinary lives to display His glory.