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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

NO ONE IN NEED
(Part 13)

MAKE JUSTICE YOUR AIM

March 18, 2014
Today’s reading: Isaiah 1:10-20


God calls us to holiness. “Wash yourselves clean!” (v.16a). God calls us to righteousness. “Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil” (v.16b).

Now many Christians do a lot of religious acts, doing what they perhaps sincerely, but mistakenly, believe is pleasing to God. They offer sacrifices (v.11), they come before the Lord (v.12a), they make offerings (v.13b), they light incense (v.13c), they have prayer assemblies (v.13d), they mount congresses (v.13e), they celebrate feasts (v.14). But God is not impressed (v.11,14). And God says He will not be listening to their prayers. “When you spread out your hands, I will close my eyes to you; though you pray the more, I will not listen.” (v.15a). Why? “Your hands are full of blood!” (v.15b). What blood? It is oppression of the poor. It is like violence that bloodies the hands.

If such is evil and bad, what then are we to do in order to “learn to do good.” (v.17a)? “Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.” (v.17b). The orphans and widows were the poor of society, who had no one to care for them. They often would be wronged, treated as nobodies, given no consideration as to their well-being. But to do good, to be holy and righteous, is to care for and serve the poor. It is to work at social justice.

Only then would we be right with the Lord. Only then would our prayers be heard. So God invites us, “Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord” (v.18a). If we respond accordingly, then our sins are forgiven (v.18b), and we will experience the fullness of God’s material provisions (v.19). We will be spiritually and materially blessed. “But if you refuse and resist, you shall be eaten by the sword: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken!” (v.20). Rather than the blood of the poor on our hands, it is our own blood that will be shed.

As the spiritual community of CFC-FFL, we pray, make sacrifices, have assemblies, mount conferences. Yes, let us do all that. But God will not see or hear us, unless we also love and serve the poor. This is why one of our seven Core Values is “Having a Preferential Option for the Poor.” This is why we have the No One in Need (NONe) movement.

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