This is a justice issue

In Jesus, we see God’s care for His people demonstrated in word and deed. In Jesus, we see God’s love of justice in action.

It seems that one of the defining characteristics of ‘Gen Z’ (those aged 10-25 in 2022) is their passion for justice and to see social change. Activism and participation in protests has increased amongst this demographic, with Forbes highlighting,

They believe in their individual power to make a difference, but they are also demanding that businesses and governments do their part to help build a better future.

It might be something that young adults are stepping into and drawing attention to, but a passion for justice isn’t unique to this generation. I’m sure that at just the mention of the word ‘justice’ figures from throughout history are coming to your mind; the human story is marked by incredible individuals and movements who have campaigned and fought for justice, many making great sacrifices in doing so.

We all have a sense of what’s fair and what’s not, even from a young age. Yesterday, I watched with great amusement as two of my children retrieved a ruler from their pencil case, not to work together on some Maths homework but to ensure their half of the slice of cake was equal to their sibling’s!

Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, most of us understand and care about justice in some way, shape or form, even if the outworking of that understanding and care is sometimes misplaced or needs some fine tuning along the way. But why?

Where does this inherent sense of right and wrong come from?

Why do people care so much?

And how does this relate to Home for Good and fostering, adoption and supported lodgings?

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses brings a message from God.

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but ...to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
- Deuteronomy 10: 12-13

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
- Deuteronomy 10:17-18

God is awesome in His power; all authority belongs to Him. Our mighty and awesome God uses His great power and authority to defend the vulnerable, to love the stranger and to give to those most in need.

In Isaiah 61, we read of God’s love for justice and of a picture painted of society in which good news is proclaimed to the poor and the brokenhearted are cared for; in which captives are freed and those who mourn are comforted. We read of renewal and restoration, of oppression ended and injustice swept away.

As Christians we believe that we’re made in the image of God. Each of us, whoever we are, are created to bear His likeness. The image of God in us shines most brightly when we reflect His heart. And out of that heart justice flows. Justice matters to God, so therefore, it should matter in some way to us.

Yet when we read the Bible, and when we look beyond the pages into the word around us, it’s clear that along the way, humans have lost sight of this part of God’s heart.

As we follow the story of God’s people, we see they repeatedly fall short of their calling to justice and compassion. In Isaiah chapter 1, God states his distaste for Israel’s worship:

Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me… I cannot bear your worthless assemblies… Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
- Isaiah 1: 17

Israel have substituted ritual sacrifice for true worship; God is telling them, in no uncertain terms, that worship of Him that fails to include acts of justice, care and compassion, isn’t enough.

Jesus is God – he is the perfect image of God. Hebrews 1: 3 says,

His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance.
- Hebrews 1: 3

In His incarnation, God came to earth and He dwelt among the poor, the oppressed, the marginalised. Jesus treated men and women equally in a society where women were seen as less important. He welcomed children to him in a radical loving way. He ate with people looked down upon by the rest of society. He stepped close to and touched those viewed as ‘unclean’. Jesus challenged racism and xenophobia of his time through his teaching and parables. He encouraged generosity. And, like His Father, Jesus didn’t hold back warning the teachers of the law and the Pharisees,

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.

In Jesus, we see God’s care for His people demonstrated in word and deed. In Jesus, we see God’s love of justice in action. His invitation was to follow him; and if our following of Jesus doesn’t include a passion and a pursuit of justice for our society’s most vulnerable, we might just be missing the point.

Every day 95 children in the UK will come into care.

Each one will have experienced trauma, loss and instability.

While in care, many will experience the uncertainty of multiple moves, each one adding further disruption. Where adoption is decided as the right plan for them, many will face a long wait for a family who can meet their needs. Black children wait longer for adoption than other children and are least likely to ever get adopted.

Some children may leave care as a teenager or young adult without a family by their side. While so many go on to thrive, the sad reality is that stories of the care system are all-too-often present among those experiencing homelessness, those who aren’t in education or employment and the prison population.

Each of those 95 children is a precious individual, and we at Home for Good believe that God’s heart is for them to be cared for, supported and encouraged to thrive. This is a justice issue

Author:
Claire at Home for Good


Date published:
17 February 2022


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