Biblical Justice || Speaker: Tim

Hey everyone, this is Tim at the Bible project. You know as the weeks of this COVID 19 pandemic turn into months, the resulting economic crisis is seizing every country in our world. The United States where I live has now passed multiple economic relief bills amounting to trillions of dollars aimed at keeping businesses whole industries afloat right now, as of this recording, some 26 million people have filed for unemployment or lost their jobs in the last six weeks. And if you’ve been following the news, you know that the majority of those jobs belong to middle and lower income earners in America, people working in food, transportation or service industries. Not everyone has the privilege of being able to have a job where they can work from home. And this is nothing new throughout the long history of human wars and pandemics and economic crises, the people who suffer most are those who are already economically vulnerable, often for reasons beyond their own control. And this was true also in the times of the Bible. This is why, in the Old Testament laws that God gave to the people of Israel, there was so much focus on making sure everyone had access to employment, and to food. So much focus on vulnerable people making sure that they’re taking care of Moses, and the prophets talks so much about how Israelites were to care for the immigrants and widows and orphans and the poor in their communities. And all of this is rooted in the biblical belief that every human is an image of God, and therefore has sacred dignity and value regardless of social and economic status. And this is surely why when Jesus began his mission of announcing the arrival of God’s kingdom, he went first to the poor and to the Jesus shared God’s heartbeat for people who didn’t know where their next paycheck or their next meal might come from. And so this concern, this has always been at the heart of the movement that Jesus started. In the book of Acts, justice and generosity were core values of Jesus’s earliest followers. And James, the early Christian leader who wrote one of the New Testament letters, he said, that genuine devotion to God is directly expressed by how aware I am of the needs of vulnerable people in my community. And so, I’m like you, when I read headlines, about trillion dollar relief packages and millions of lost jobs, it’s overwhelming. Everything about this COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming. And so let’s just make it very simple and practical. You almost certainly know someone who has lost their job or taken a finance You’ll hit in the last month and maybe that someone is you. And so what if you were to check in with your friends and reach out to them for help or offer help to them? Maybe somebody needs groceries, maybe you or someone you know needs help with rent or their mortgage. Another idea is to just find out what are the local food pantries around you find out what they’re up to, and what they need, and support them if you’re able to. Nothing about the situation is business as usual. And so followers of Jesus have a very unique opportunity to display honesty, courage, and to display the generous justice of God Himself in very powerful and practical ways right now. And so May God give us that courage and grace to love our neighbors as ourselves in the week that I had.

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