“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” Romans 8:19
It’s overwhelming and can lead to discouragement, despair, or at worst – numb inaction. Thanks to the era we live in, we are able to “know” of injustices globally and right outside our door – often the moment they take place. But where do we get our knowledge, and what news source do we trust? The co-opting of injustice or causes for political gain by all “sides” means we cannot even simply listen/read, and respond. We must be “wise as serpents” (Matthew 10:16), not reactionary like junior highers. (no offense to our junior higher readers…it’s just neurology)
It’s not surprising, given the first steps of humanity disobeying God were grasping to be “in the know”, after hearing we could not trust our sources – even if that source was God.
In all of these things, we hear the whispers of that same deceiver:
– “That particular issue is for other people”
– “You already do good things in another area of your community/life.”
– “This is not your struggle…there are too many, and you cannot be expected to involve yourself in all of them.”
– “Are you sure God calls you in this direction? It sure seems like you could serve more powerfully, and have more influence by doing it this way…”
– “Look at that person trying to respond. Here’s an easy way to publicly point out how foolish and “out of the know” they are.”
The truth is – the collective weight of struggles facing our world today (& tomorrow) will not be solved by champions of justice (even those who claim Jesus) boldly becoming more aware of ALL aspects of ALL challenges and ALL issues in every corner of the globe. As beautiful as these efforts can seem to lovers of justice – they’re at risk of being a continuation of deception.
At this point – the deceiver would also love for you to say, “Whew, the pressure is off. Now I’ll just pick up where things were a few weeks back.”
When faced by the overwhelming groans & lament of the brokenness of creation, a loving Jesus compels us to be those who are aware of what such groaning means. Children of God – will we be revealed as such? Will we humbly shed all identities but Christ? Will we examine & repent of our role in personal, corporate, and systemic sins? Will we pursue forgiveness and healing relationships with those people or communities we feel have wronged us – knowing our struggle is not with flesh and blood? Will we listen, and empower others to speak?
We cannot “make/keep ourselves just” or “make up for the history of injustices we’ve (all) benefitted from”, but we are called to live in the tension that calls us to be honest about it & pursue justice and righteousness anyway – from genuine love, not out of fear or guilt.
But just like we cannot “pray a prayer” and consider salvation in Christ a “done deal“…we cannot throw out a hashtag/image/post (ironic, I know), walk in a protest, or click “like” and consider our response to be made. We must vulnerably position ourselves with “others” to prayerfully join the Kingdom work together of knowing and being known in Love. Just as Jesus is known by the Father, and knows the Father. The Holy Spirit through us will bear fruit of the tree that brings healing to the nations.
And in this way (and more), may the Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven.
(Want to help your local church/home be shaped in this way? Register to celebrate “Freedom Sunday”, which seeks to work against modern injustices, and hear the voices of the vulnerable.)