This week, friend of the family, Pastor Steve Canter unpacked a good word on the harvest and call of the church.
Taina Ramos reflects on the sermon and the ways in which it challenges justice and the yearn for reconciliation.
Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay. In time their foot will slip, for their day of disaster is near, and their doom is coming quickly. - Deuteronomy 32:35 (CSB)
I forget in moments of anger and pain that ultimately this fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers (Eph. 6:12). So what do I do? As Pastor Canter stated, remember that His vengeance is greater than ours and he promises to repay! He made a great point in saying that “delayed wrath is still wrath”. Moreover, pray, pray for these souls that mean harm, pray that they would know a love and grace that has saved us all - black, brown, white and every other color in between.
Now this does not mean I have to stay silent, nor does it mean I shouldn't fight back, this means I’m called to fight back in a different way.
Advocates for Justice
Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly. - Micah 6:8
The response of a godly heart is outward (do justice), inward (love mercy), and upward (walk humbly). This describes God’s heart….he loves justice, hates evil. This verse literally tells us how to fight back. As a Christian I must fight for justice against those that need it. I must fight in a way that I would want someone to fight for me. With the same authority, boldness and passion. I must love as Christ loved, without expectation and regardless of reciprocation. I must walk humbly, so humbly that regardless of my victories, disappointments and even hurt; that I would remember that it's not with my might or power but with the spirit that I will be able to continue to advocate no matter the cost. I must listen to those that need to be advocated for, even if I don't fully understand, or can't relate. I must pursue my neighbors, my co-workers, friends and family and be willing to stand firm and advocate for what is right, what is just!
Ambassadors of Reconciliation
Steve said it best, "Feel with compassion, Pray with confidence and Respond with closeness".
Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35). It may sound cheesy to others, but this is something I believe strongly in. Love conquers all, love can break barriers, love can heal, love can set free. We are his ambassadors, representatives of his love. Love is hard, especially when those that don't deserve it require it most.
I don't know if you have ever had to reconcile with anyone, but I have and it was not easy. It took a lot of time, a lot of conversations with people that were honest with me. A lot of praying….a lot! But what I prayed for most was that I would forgive them. Truly forgive them and that I would be given the love of Christ for them. A love that looks beyond pain and accusations and chooses grace. Easier said than done, I know but if I can do it, anyone can.