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Respond With Light

Respond With Light

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

In Romans 12, Paul tells us something similar – mourn with those who mourn.

When then is the American Christian mean to do in this pivotal moment in our nation’s history? Get out there and mourn deeply with those who mourn. Bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters.

Must I have experienced racism to mourn with those who have? No, of course not! Do I have to have experienced racism to hold up those who have, to bear their burdens when they become far too heavy? To advocate on their behalf? Again, no. And how do I know?

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16

If the Holy, mighty, perfect son of God can sympathize with me, in my sin and brokenness, then how in the world can I not sympathize with my brothers and sisters, who suffer at the hands of my own, our own, brokenness and sin? If God can reach down to sympathize with my broken self, how can I not then reach across to sympathize with those who are hurting?

Make no mistake – I am not casting myself as the sinless savior in this situation. I’m merely noting that it is rich indeed for me to accept grace from my perfect God, who not only saw my plight from on high but humbled himself and became like man, battling my temptations and sorrows and heartache, only to emerge victorious on the other side of death (Philippians 2). It is rich for me to accept that Christ would die for me, but deny the call that places on my life to fight for the marginalized – to fight for the people Christ continually advocated for while He was on earth.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8

What does God require of us, his followers in 2020 America? That we work out His justice, and that we love with merciful, faithful, shocking kindness, and that we do all of this humbly.

What does the Lord require of you but

If you are not confronted by that but, you are a better person than I. Because that but seems big, seems weighty, seems costly

Jesus, arms stretched wide, took on the full wrath of God to pay the penalty for my sins, and not just my sins, but the sins of all (1 John 2:2). And what does God require of me but

Do Justice
Love Kindness
Walk Humbly

And it doesn’t earn me that salvation. Christ did that. I can’t, and I won’t, and I couldn’t. But in light of that radical work, have I any response but to look back at the darkness from which I’ve come and desire that it be brought to light as well?

My very favorite bible verse, the one I’ve clung to in my darkest moments, is this: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5

And that settles that:

Do Justice, because we are called to it, and because Christ has gone before, shining light into the darkness of injustice.
Love Kindness, because we are called to it, and because Christ has gone before, boldly declaring love to a word that was content to hate.
Walk Humbly, because we are called to it, and because Christ, Lord of Light, humbled himself to walk amongst the darkness, never dimming, only brightening.

What has God me to do but to

Speak up
Speak love
Protect those who need protection
Fight for His people
Mourn with those who mourn
Pray fervently
Serve the Lord

The One who has done much for us? He asks little. In light of His great mercy, His steadfast love, His pursuit of justice which led him to go to the cross on my behalf, what is there left for me to do but to work and pray that His diverse, beautiful, whole Kingdom come, His Holy, righteous, just will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

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Jessica Fields

Jessica Fields is a coffee-drinking, world-traveling, soon-to-be graduate student. She grew up in Winston-Salem, went to college in Chapel Hill, and will be living in Brisbane, Australia for the foreseeable future. She is passionate about Jesus and the radically transformative power of the Gospel. She also loves baking and cozy afternoons, so consider yourself invited over for baked goods, coffee, and chats about faith and life!

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