Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Comfort Idol and Social Justice

I agreed to speak at Imago Dei Kids about a month ago. The topic was "God is Just". As I began to prepare, I realized that justice, as a concept, is easiest to explain through the idea of injustice. So, in lieu of talking in terms of criminal justice, I spoke about social justice. In the beginning God created enough for everyone, enough food, water, shelter, etc. In modern day times, though, millions suffer and die from starvation, lack of access to clean water, and exposure, clearly not what God intended pre-fall. The kids totally connected with the message and gave great answers about ways they can impact this injustice.

Then, in between services, I began thinking about the kids I know in the slums of Nairobi and Dodoma and the war-ravaged villages of Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda who live in this injustice every day. If I were given the same assignment to talk to those kids about the just-ness of God's character, what examples could I give them? In a world where children have seen their families slaughtered by militants or waste away from malnutrition and disease, where is God's justice in their lives?

Then the Holy Spirit reminds me of my conviction from last week's sermon. I see every luxury and every indulgent comfort in my life with fresh eyes. I see glimpses of the walls of my Comfort prison, padded and soft though they be, thickening with every idolatrous act of worship. The words of the very Scripture verses I'm using in my lesson about justice echo through that chamber: "Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors...Your job is to stand up for the powerless...Speak out for justice!" The longer I serve the idol of Comfort, the thicker the walls of my prison become and the more isolated and apathetic I become to the cries of injustice, the more unable I find myself to live sacrificially on their behalf.


Annie Skroski said...

Right on my sista. At some point in this sermon series, Rick said that the longer we serve our idols, the more we see God in a distorted view through that idol. This hit me a lot in terms of of comfort. Our view of injustice becomes not having that comfort met, instead of the actual injustice going on for the kids in Sudan or Uganda. And instead of fighting for justice, we seek our own version of comfort for ourselves. Quite sad to see how skewed my perspective has become through my idols.

Giancarlo said...

Great point Annie. I know I'm like four days late with this, but still. But still.