Who: Don Golden
God is the God of people who suffer. The moment that we stop crying out is the moment that we start going in the wrong direction. As you are working out your salvation, you need to connect with people who are afflicted.
If you understand where God is in these four locations through Old Testament history, then you will understand how to repond to issues of injustice in our world today…
- Egypt… Exodus 3 states I have heard the cry – History starts with this cry. The cry is the primal scream of humanity for a connection with their community and environment.
- Sinai… Exodus 19 is about the call – God says that “if you obey Me, I will make you…”. God was about to make them His PowerPoint presentation to the world!
- Jerusalem… 1 Kings 9-11 is about Solomon and the choice - When slaves receive a calling, then a few generations they find themselves in power, and they then have a choice. The Queen of Sheba even recognized that they were in power to deliver justice.
- Babylon… Psalm 137 is about the turn - It is when you realize that you missed it that you fall back and weep and understand how you got it all wrong. This is where the people started looking forward to the next Son of David and the future hope that it would bring.
Q: What does it take for us to make the right choice?
A: Some people in the audience think that it may be that we (as Americans) will need to go through some sort of oppression or bondage before we ‘get it’. Don pointed out that there certainly is an oppression side, but there is also an aspiration side (when in Jerusalem) to the equation. We can also choose to recognize what is needed to be done before we fall into the oppression side.
Q: If there is not a leader to lead the change, then how can the community lead it?
A: An important distinction to understand is that it was the cry of the people that made a difference to God. There is a growing frustration in the church that our leaders are not taking care of certain issues. It is the cross at work in the life of a servant that makes the difference. Imagine a history with people giving themselves away for the sake of others. If you are person of faith, it is certain that we will eventually give ourselves away for the benefit of others. The question is, are you ready to do that today? Can we, with power, make that choice?
Q: Who do we encourage Christians to do this? How do we recognize our own brokenness and respond by bring about lasting change?
A: Worship is liturgizing our story. We need to be able to tell our story about how we have overcome circumstances in our lives. This is what we must do in order to stress the importance of leading change in our churches. Historically it is the church that has led reforms because we recognize that everyone is created in the image of God. So we still need to be there when it stops being ‘cool’ to serve others (as many popular celebrities do).
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