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Here are links and short quotes from 3 articles mostly written for former New Year’s Days – dealing with our personal priorities, the values by which we can choose to live. There’s good hope!
Howard Thurman made a clear statement about the work of Christmas after the colored lights are put away. Jesus made a clear statement in the synagogue of his home town, Nazareth, about why he was here.
This is what Christmas was for.
It was for
- economic justice –
- proper behavior of and within the legal and criminal justice systems –
- health care, health ministry –
- justice for all who are oppressed, which includes economic justice, the victims of unjust imprisonment and other punishment systems, right down to elder abuse, spouse abuse, child abuse, all kinds and locations of abuse.
- And surely “all who are oppressed” includes those who are oppressed by one form or another of mental illness, addiction, obsession, anger, hate, fear, a variety of forms of dominating lust.
This is the “reason for the season.”
You absolutely cannot do anything you set your mind to. That’s silly at best. But you can do important things!
I have a couple of recommendations for the use of our freedom in 2018 – to bring some changes, or growth, some healthy and pleasant developing of ourselves. Not necessarily “resolutions” like “THIS IS GONNA HAPPEN EVERY SINGLE DAY OR ELSE!”. But a strengthened focus on two or thee good things. Because that can truly help.
When a man asks Jesus to tell the man’s brother to do the right thing, Jesus refuses. What’s up with that?
Jesus says he’s not a judge, but then places a high moral standard on everyone.
He makes a strong moral judgment in which he emphasizes two defenses against the sin of greed:
- 1) They must guard against greed, and
- 2) They must figure out what life really consists in (which is not possessions).
- In both aspects Jesus clearly wants them to apply this high standard TO THEMSELVES,
- EVEN while he himself refuses to set himself up as an arbiter in their specific situations.
It seems to me – Does it to you? – that
Many Christians and churches today get that exactly backwards!
Jesus clearly wants them to apply this TO THEMSELVES, EVEN while he himself refuses to set himself up as an arbiter in their specific situations. Many Christians and churches today get that exactly backwards!Click To Tweet