We are running a fortnightly bible study following our community dinner looking at the exegesis (interpretation) of the bible passages that underpin each of our community values. You can read the list of Values here so you know what’s coming up next.
These values can be relevant whatever context you live and work in just make the Word you own.
Value 4: Seeking justice for the poor
We value God’s priority for the poor and seek to prioritise the marginalised of Footscray. We do not want to just show mercy, but instead offer our lives, in voice and activity, with those who we seek to serve.
Biblical basis: Jeremiah 22:16, James 2: 1-5
Let’s read the value together… what words/phrases stand out?
Who do we think are “the poor”?
Those who are poor in heart? in spirit? or without money? It’s those who are poor in spirit that are worst off = those who feel empty. When you eat you’re full. If you don’t eat you’re empty.
We need to be helping one another more.
Read the bible. What words/ideas stand out?
What can we learn from the bible about living the Value: Seeking justice for the poor?
Jeremiah passage brought to mind people such as Donald Trump and Gina Rinehart…
Who gets behind and left out? What kinds of people?
What does it mean to “have a huge head-start in the faith stakes”?
Know how to be grateful.
Jeremiah 22: 16-17
“Doom to him who builds palaces but bullies people,
who makes a fine house but destroys lives,
Who cheats his workers
and won’t pay them for their work,
Who says, ‘I’ll build me an elaborate mansion
with spacious rooms and fancy windows.
I’ll bring in rare and expensive woods
and the latest in interior decor.’
So, that makes you a king—
living in a fancy palace?
Your father got along just fine, didn’t he?
He did what was right and treated people fairly,
And things went well with him.
He stuck up for the down-and-out,
And things went well for Judah.
Isn’t this what it means to know me?”
“But you’re blind and brainless.
All you think about is yourself,
Taking advantage of the weak,
bulldozing your way, bullying victims.”
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighbourhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
James 2: 1-10
……..Sisters and brothers, if you really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, how come you still play favourites? If people walk into one of your meetings and you make a fuss of the ones dressed up to the nines and looking a million dollars, ushering them to the best seats in the house, while at the same time turning up your nose at those dressed like battlers, down on their luck, telling them to stand out in the foyer, aren’t you practicing apartheid, segregating God’s children? You’re as crooked as a judge who bases your sentence on the length of your skirt!
……..Get this straight in your minds, dear friends. God has turned the world’s opinion polls upside down. Those who have been deprived of what the world values have a huge head-start in the faith stakes. Their names are at the top of the list of those who God has chosen to inherit the riches of the kingdom. All who love God have an equal share in God’s promises, but you’re insulting some of them by means-testing your welcome.
©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net
Reflection time… followed by sharing time.
Who are “the poor” in Footscray?
Offer our lives – in voice and activity…
- what ways are we doing this now?
- what ways could we start?