During our discussions as a house group with fellow missionaries in Gulu we have discussed a range of topics but the few that hit the radar of late are: justice for the poor; and living in community.
We are well versed with Scriptures commanding justice and we are familiar with Scriptures about giving to the poor. We have all read in Matthew about Jesus telling the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions and give them to the poor (Matthew 19:16-22).
A few of us have been reading the book of an American Christian radical, Shane Claiborne, who has hit the Christian headlines and certainly shaked and challenged us on how we are living.
In his book ‘Irresistible Revolution’ he writes: “There are plenty of liberals who talk about poverty and injustice but rarely encounter the poor, living detached lives of socially responsible but comfortable consumption. And there are plenty of Christians who talk about how much God cares for the poor but don’t know any poor folks. There is nothing more sickening than talking about poverty over a fancy dinner. Or how about this one: I once saw an advertisement for a dialogue on global starvation, and the sign boldly read, “Refreshments will be served.”
He pulls no punches and hits hard, if you want to stretch yourself, dare to read it. (Warning: he is pretty critical of Christians, and also paints living in community through rose-tinted glasses).
One question which resonates throughout the book is: ‘what happens if Jesus really meant what he said in the gospels?’
So, let me ask you and myself that question: ‘What if Jesus really meant what he said?’
This is not a plea for more overseas financial support, this is a wake up call for us to live out our faith. Let us be more intentional with how we live our lives and the decisions we make. What will you do for social injustice? What injustices do you see around you? How will you serve or live out the words of Jesus? Isn’t Jesus our example?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beaneath the wheels of injustice, but we are to drive the spoke into the wheel itself”.