Have you ever heard that old saying about how a good preacher has the Bible in one hand and today’s headlines in the other?
Lately the headlines have featured a lot of people mistreating people who are different from them in one way or another – whether race, religion, gender, age, national origin, language, whatever. Sometimes the situation is wrapped up in politics, and sometimes it isn’t. But no matter the so-called “reason” behind the mistreatment, it’s never a good one. And it’s never justified.
Throughout Scripture, God calls us over and over again to treat one another with respect and kindness, no matter who we are or who the other person is. Would the Jesus who gave us a new commandment to love one another recognize any of the injustice and oppression in today’s headlines as having anything to do with his word but defiance of it?
And we who call ourselves followers of Jesus must speak out against oppression and injustice wherever it occurs. Yes, it can be uncomfortable. Yes, our friends and relatives might think we’re speaking out of turn. Yes, it can be scary. But we can do it. As followers of Jesus, we can do no less.
Audrey Novak Riley is director for stewardship for Women of the ELCA. Photos from Unsplash.
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