Freedom Sunday

Categories: Pastor's Page

First Church,

Today is a special day for us.  As we are ending our sermon series on “Grace Doing A Body Good” we are doing so in a very specific way.  As you may remember, throughout this sermon series we have been focusing on how to embody God’s grace in tangible ways with supernaturally changed hearts.  Today we have a chance to do that very thing!

Today we are celebrating something called “Freedom Sunday.”  Freedom Sunday is a designated Sunday in conjunction with the International Justice Mission (IJM).  IJM is an international organization that seeks to share God’s justice throughout the world with those most in need of the healing of God’s restorative justice.  Their mission is: To protect the poor from violence by rescuing victims, bringing the criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts.

While brokenness comes in all forms, one of the areas of injustice that IJM works with very intently is the area of slavery.  Believe it or not, there are more forms of slavery (economic, sexual, child, etc.) and a higher number of slaves in our world now than at any time in history.

Church—IF WE LOVE JESUS, WE CANNOT BE OKAY THIS— WITH INJUSTICE—in our world!  In any form!

One of my favorite aspects of God’s church is that it is meant to partner with God to bring about God’s beauty and restoration in creation where that beauty and restoration does not already exist.

Today is a Sunday to do that very thing.

A natural outgrowth of Transformation in Christ, Changing Lives Inside and Out—our vision, our passion, our heartbeat—is to join with God’s Holy Spirit destroying injustice in our world and to in turn offer beauty through God’s justice.

Children in slavery…. women exploited… the poor abused… these things should make our hearts break.  Why?  Because they break the heart of Jesus.

But the opposite is also true.  Children set free… women celebrated… the poor empowered… fill the heart of Christ with joy.  And therefore, they should fill our heart with joy.

We cannot set free every slave in our world today.  But we can begin to help set at least one person free today.  And that begins to change the world so that slavery can end.  Please check out some of the IJM resources at the display tables today, or be in touch with our Roots of Justice group (specifically Christine Johnson at christinejohnson81@gmail.com), or decide as a small group on some actions steps you can take… but most of all begin to pray on what you can do to partner with God to share God’s grace through beautiful justice.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Matt