Touché September 15, 2017
Posted on September 15, 2017 by under Touché, Worship,

 

Freedom Sunday 

 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.” (Luke 4:18) 

 There’s been a lot of talk this summer about slavery -slavery in the United States at the time of the Civil War and how that history impacts our memory and our monuments today.  The reality is there are more slaves today than at any time in human history; 45 million people according to the World Slavery Index.  While Robert E. Lee’s statue in Charlottesville is on the front pages of our papers, the reality of modern slavery gets little press. 

This summer I heard two speakers at the Global Leadership Summit.  One was Bryan Stevenson, author of the award winning book Just Mercy.  He spoke of death row inmates unjustly condemned.  His organization, Equal Justice Initiative, is working to set captives free. 

The second speaker was Gary Haugen, the founder of International Justice Mission, an organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world.  There were many speakers at the Willow Creek summit, but these two really inspired me.  I had read Bryan’s book this summer and Gary encouraged churches to have “Freedom Sundays” addressing issues of slavery in the modern world.   

In my own spirit, God has been moving me to get into action around issues of justice in the world. As I listened I thought, someday we should do that.  While I was still in Michigan, Stephanie Reynolds and Colette Varanouskas emailed me and wanted to set up an appointment to talk about doing a Freedom Sunday.  Is that funny, or is that God? I guess someday was sooner than I planned.  

As we move into Fifty Days of Transformation, I pray that we understand that our transformation is not simply for us and our well-being, but instead that God is transforming us to be agents in transforming his world.  This Sunday we will lift up Freedom Sunday and be reminded of the mission statement of Jesus that is justice now: in this world, at this time, through people working to live and proclaim the Good News. 

Grace and Peace, 

Taylor