Friday, December 6, 2013

More than Singing

"Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said. "Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity... It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” he said. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” - Nelson Mandela

Lifting up Jesus at Pine Terrace Baptist Church
Photo credit to David
Mathieson — in Milton, FL.
Those quotations came via Lois Nangudi, a young woman who I've only met once, but who I know as someone who grew up in Uganda as a child sponsored by Compassion International.  I wish I knew more of her story, but as she quoted Nelson Mandela today, as so many have, it brings to mind God's command to "Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"  Lois is now a singer with Life Action Ministries after graduating from Moody Theological Seminary earlier this year.  What a testimony she brings when she sings!

The quote in bold is from the prophet Amos.  It's found in today's "Moravian Daily Texts."  Also today I spent time at the Cokato Food Shelf, connecting personally with those in need.  And, on top of all those things, I'm thinking and praying about the theme that I've written about here earlier this week in a post called "The Advent Conspiracy."  

God is speaking strongly today about what it is we are to be doing on this earth.  It's not all about "spiritual" things.  If so, we could just sing, pray, worship, and let the world go.  But God is not just the creator of heaven, he's also the creator, and the sustainer, and the lover, of this world and all its people.

As I prepare for Sunday and a message on "The Advent Conspiracy," God is forcibly reminding me of His mission to bring the way we live every day into agreement with His Loving Purposes for the world.  The scripture above from Amos, the one about justice and righteousness flowing on and on with strength and powerful love--that scripture comes immediately after an attack on just what it is we normally do a lot of during this Advent and Christmas Season...
As I sit here in my warm house, having been well fed several times on this particular day, and as I consider how we will worship God when we next gather at Crossroads, I am in deep prayer, asking that the Lord would speak powerfully among us so that we will reach out every day and make a real difference among the poor and among all who are suffering.  I pray I would be willing to make personal choices that honor God in every way.  I pray that our worship this Sunday would inspire us to talk together as families about how we can stand up for real, personal, practical love.  I pray that, yes, in some ways, we would follow the example of Nelson Mandela and Lois Nangudi so that young and old can rejoice and join in bringing justice and righteousness to the earth.

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