Lenten Devotional by Bill Wannamaker
March 22, 2023
Isaiah 1:17 (CEB)
17 learn to do good. Seek justice: help the oppressed;[b defend the orphan; plead for the widow
Micah 6:8 (CEB)
He has told you, human one, what is good and what the LORD requires from you:
to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.
This year’s confirmation class began in January with a mercy and justice retreat with Charleston Youth Mission Co. in North Charleston. We participated in two service-related projects. One project was with Homeless to Hope. Homeless to Hope fund was created to in 2016 to provide help and hope to individuals experiencing homelessness in the Low Country of South Carolina. Our task with Homeless to Hope was to help delivery furniture and other household items for families that had qualified for housing. Our confirmands work with directly with these families as they helped set up their apartments.
Our other project was with a small group called Potluck in the Park. This little organization is made up of people from Charleston who volunteer to provide home cooked meals every Sunday afternoon for those that are homeless and/or food insecure. We helped with set up, serving food, and breaking everything down. We served those that were not only dealing with stark poverty but with physical and mental health issues as well as substance abuse.
These acts of Mercy went a long way to help those that have very little fill critical and urgent needs. Mercy is necessary and works well in the present. However, people also need justice in order to break a cycle of dependency. Justice goes a long way to fix long standing systems and institutions that are broken and allow for new policies that will level the playing field so that everyone has a fair shot to succeed in life.
The passages in Micah and Isaiah are just a couple of scriptures of many that reminds us as God’s Children of the importance of seeking justice for the widow, the oppressed, the orphan and others that represent the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46). If you are looking for a way that you can help seek justice in your community, then I suggest that join other Forest Lake Presbyterian church with their involvement with More Justice. More Justice is working hard to address issues such as Gun Violence, Affordable housing, and Mental Health.
Remember that Jesus teaches us that the two greatest commands are to love your God with all your heart and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. What better way to Love your Neighbor then to advocate for justice.