I recently had the the privelege of preaching on Engaging Injustice at my church. Though I would rather preach expositionally, I found the opportunity to speak about our church’s calling to engage injustice just too tempting so we dove right in with this topic as a church family.
In approaching this topic as a church, I felt that it is so important that we understand how God feels about injustice. I love that Jesus models this for us with his life and his sacrifice in justifying us in his death. (The cross of Christ is proof that justice is a big deal to God!) But also, we see it as Jesus begins his preaching ministry with the reading of Isaiah 61. Luke 4 unfolds the story:
After being tempted and tried in the wilderness, he comes to Nazareth and enters the synagogue on the Sabbath day…
“And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has appointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
And when he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down.” (Luke 4:18-20)
By reading this Jesus states the obvious – that He has come to proclaim, recover, free and liberate the poor, captives, enslaved, oppressed, and blind. But there is much more to see here.
To choose this text as He launches His preaching ministry is to make a significant statement. Jesus doesn’t begin talking about intimacy with the Father in prayer, or tithing, or discipleship, or worship (though He gets to all that stuff later). He is making a declaration as He announces His ministry focus: GOD CARES DEEPLY ABOUT INJUSTICE.
So, the first step that we must take to engage injustice is to get on the same page with God. If we follow Jesus then we should evaluate if we are passionate about the things that He is passionate about. There is no guessing whether or not Jesus cares for the poor, oppressed, enslaved, and the physically and spiritually blind.
Therefore, join me in daily asking God to open our eyes so that we can see injustice the way that He sees injustice. This is the first step that we can make to engage injustice.