richard perez1 Comment

For those not near #Ferguson

richard perez1 Comment
Collect the facts to see if injustice exists, negotiate for change, purify yourselves, [then move into] direct action.
— Marting Luther King Jr.

In his wisdom, This is how MLK encourages us to approach social injustice.  

I believe that we've been about having the "tough conversations" but it seems more like a monologue than a dialogue.  We have a broken system, and we trust our God will in a moment renew it fully - until then family, we WATCH, we PRAY, we ACT.

Photo by littleny/iStock / Getty Images

Christ Crucified Fellowship , we are to take Matthew 5:13-16 to heart.  How can we be salt?  Preserving the the kingdom peace and power Jesus set in motion through his resurrection.  How can we be light? Discouragement, injustice, anxiety and darkness has certainly set in more significantly over these last couple months. As those who profess to hold the light of Jesus that restores even in the greatest of divide, are we broadcasting that?

As a church NOT in the STL/Ferguson/MO area what do we do?

1. Watch the news, Read the articles, Stay informed.  There's often little fruit in praying, or joining a conversation without any or even little knowledge of whats happening.  it shows that we're more concerned with symptomatic change than we are real, holistic renewal/justice/transformation of all the parties involved.

2. PRAY.  The Brown family, The Wilson family, Ferguson, MO, our country, our government, our community leaders, our churches need a fresh breath of God's presence.  We want answers, no doubt, and we will together determine to find them, but we need the presence of a real, compassionate, just, loving and gracious God more.

3. Connect to your local community, human rights organizations.  For us in NYC there are many.  One in particular is a great friend who's doing great work in this area, Jonathan Walton and NYCUP.  He recently wrote a helpful and practical blog on how to get involved.  Check it out here.

4. Create space for dialogue about this with your neighbors. Don't be a stiff, engage your neighbors about things they might not agree with you on or maybe don't hold the same world view as you do. These could lead to several things: mutual sharpening, discovering simple/common ground for service, discover how this is a real issue in our context, and an opportunity to give a fresh, deeper picture of our savior Jesus by crying and mourning along with our neighbors.

5. Cultivate a culture of hope. All this is fresh (as it relates to the announcement) and frankly, its overwhelming to imagine that this is the world my son will have to deal with.  But because we believe Jesus endured his "reproach", his injustice, we long for a greater city - one where Zecheriah 7 tells us "Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets." One where Isaiah 33:20 tells us that our "eyes will see Jerusalem, an untroubled habitation, an immovable tent, whose stakes will never be plucked up, nor will any of its cords be broken."  One where Revelation 21 tells us that Jesus "will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  Church, we need to lead with this as we fight for justice!
  
I'm sure there's more I could've written.  These are some thoughts that come to mind immediately.