Shine Light on Injustice
Shandra Newcom, World Church Peace and Justice Team, team leader
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. -Isaiah 58:6-8
Injustice flourishes in the dark. It hides, creating systems of oppression that affect human beings and the earth. It causes pain, poverty, brokenness, separation, and hatred of those we do not understand. As followers of Christ, we are called to challenge injustice every day and shine the light of peace and hope that comes through our understandings of Jesus’ life, teaching, and ministry. He made it clear through his stories and actions that as followers of the way we cannot ignore injustice in our world. As Christians, it is our call to uncover injustice, speak truth to the powers of oppression, and work to bring about an end to violence and fear.
It is not an easy task, nor can we do it alone.
In my mission center, the high school youth spend a weekend learning about issues of injustice that face their community. They spend time hearing stories from the people most oppressed by these unjust systems. They commit themselves to shining the light of Christ into the darkest corners of our world. This experience changes the way they act and see the world. It opens up their hearts to find the covered places they carry that contribute to suffering. Through experience, these youth discover what it means to create authentic, loving, and just Christian community.
This is our invitation, too. Jesus, the Light of the World, calls us to be light. Jesus calls us to uncover the injustice that is growing, and he calls us into community. As we respond with growing relationship, we will begin to see that as we turn our hearts toward justice, the world experiences the peace of Christ. This peace is transformative, and it relies on our action as light.
You are invited to shine.
I surrender into your love, O God.
What might it look like to surrender a little to God each day? A simple prayer of surrender can help us become aware of God’s consistent invitations to deeper relationship and awareness. Imagine when you encounter a challenging person or situation silently uttering this prayer, “I surrender into your love, O God.” The same prayer can be meaningful in moments of joy and gratitude as a way of returning to the awareness of oneness with God. It’s ok if we don’t surrender everything all at once all the time. The prayer of surrender is a constant practice of returning little by little to the deepest love that is the ground of our being and desires wholeness and oneness for us and all creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.