Bringing justice to your community
Three ways your youth group can be involved in helping people around you.
According to the Bible, this is what justice is all about:
1. Justice is caring for the vulnerable in our community. The vulnerable include the poor, widows refugees, migrants, single parents and homeless people. It can even be those on the outer at school or at youth group. We also learnt that God has a particular place in his heart for the vulnerable. Check out Psalm 146:7-9.
2. Jesus teaches us that we should love our neighbour. Using the parable of the “Good Samaritan” we learn that our neighbour is anyone who is in need, and that caring for them may mean giving of ourselves sacrificially.
3. The Bible gives us two important motivations for doing justice. In creating the world, God made all of us in his image and becasue of this all human beings have equal dignity and worth. Alongside this God has given us his creation, to rule, care and share with others. The second motivation is the grace we have been given in Jesus. Jesus has been generous to us, and through faith, we do live justly for him.
In this last article I want to think about the “how” of justice. How should we do justice?
How to 'do' justice
It will come as no surprise that working for justice in our city or towns can be done in lots of different ways.
In their book “Deep Justice in a Broken World”, Chap Clark and Kara Powell talk about three “layers” of justice.
1. Physical Response: This could be sending money, distributing food or painting a building!
2. Relational Response: Getting to know the people that we are serving, learning from them and moving beyond doing number 1.
3. Systemic Response: This means trying to work to fix the problems in our society that cause people to be poor and vulnerable in the first place.
Justice and your community
With your youth group, small group at Church or family at home. Have a think about these questions:
- As you think about the City that you live in, your neighborhood and your school. What are some of the obstacles and “forces” that create pain and suffering for people?
- What are some things that you could do with other people to help the poor and vulnerable in your area? What could be your physical response, relational response, and systemic response?
Most youth groups do the physical response well. How can yours be different and work at the other responses as well?
Why not comment on the forums and let us all know what you are doing to bring justice in your communities.