June 10, 2009

Crucified for the Poor

I have been reading a few different things over the past few weeks that have really challenged me. This morning I was reading N.T. Wright's brilliant! book Surprised by Hope. I was reading the section that paints a picture of what salvation, justice, and beauty really look like if we take seriously Jesus' resurrection and the Kingdom of God (leading to God's recreation of His creation).

I got to thinking about ministry to the poor, the broken, and the hurting, and what this hope calls us to as God's Church.

I realized...no one was ever crucified for serving and helping the poor. Governments and businesses have no problem with people bandaging the wounded. People get crucified for trying to heal the system causing the wounds in the first place.

Seeking God's justice for our world means we speak out about the injustices of the systems and conditions that creates the poverty and brokenness. Yes, sometimes people are in the situations they are in because of their own stupid decisions (I am in no way relinquishing personal responsibility)... but that is where God's justice proclaimed on the situation and His grace given to the person brings restoration and recreation of that person to live a Kingdom life.

Maybe we need to not only bandage the wounds, but seek to cure the cancerous cause...what do you think?


  1. Copied & pasted from biblegateway.com

    Isaiah 1:11-17 (New International Version)

    11 "The multitude of your sacrifices—
    what are they to me?" says the LORD.
    "I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
    of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
    I have no pleasure
    in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

    12 When you come to appear before me,
    who has asked this of you,
    this trampling of my courts?

    13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
    Your incense is detestable to me.
    New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
    I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

    14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts
    my soul hates.
    They have become a burden to me;
    I am weary of bearing them.

    15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
    I will hide my eyes from you;
    even if you offer many prayers,
    I will not listen.
    Your hands are full of blood;

    16 wash and make yourselves clean.
    Take your evil deeds
    out of my sight!
    Stop doing wrong,

    17 learn to do right!
    Seek justice,
    encourage the oppressed. [a]
    Defend the cause of the fatherless,
    plead the case of the widow.

  2. Sorry, forgot to explain why I was leaving that scripture. Verse 17 came to mind when reading your blog. I couldn't remember the address, so I googled it and came up with that entire passage. I decided to share all of it instead of just the 17th verse.

    I really think God wants us to be really seriously passionate about doing right, seeking justice, and encouraging the oppressed!