Justice-Seeking: Good Samaritan Time
by Ron VandenBurg
People hurt. Our world is broken. Sin can be defined as anything that separates us from relationship with God and with other people.
In the beginning, God created people to be in relationship with Him and with one another. Today, the world is not as God intended it to be. At the fall, God promised restoration, and He sought relationship saying, “I will be your God, and you will be my people”, and in the New Testament, Jesus comes to embody that healing relationship in self-sacrifice.
When we are in relationship with each other, the focus of justice becomes restoring to the relationship that has been harmed or broken. For justice, we need to see that each person is an image-bearer of God. We can’t just let injustice happen! We need to teach our children to see injustice and then to act against it. The Bible leaves no doubt that Christian lives must be lives of justice. It is the first requirement listed in answer to Micah’s question, “What does the Lord require of you? “
We teach our children that the decisions we make on a daily basis affect the people around us. We use our words and deeds sometimes to help and sometimes to harm. God calls us to love our neighbours, and so a first step in loving comes when we value the stories of all people- our neighbours next door, our neighbours around the world, those who have been harmed and those who have harmed. As agents of change, we are called to make just choices and to maintain and to restore relationships with one another and with God. It’s time to be Good Samaritans.
Do check-in circles with your family members. Everybody has a turn to speak, and everyone listens to what’s said. Topics could include: I am glad that … I learned that … I will never forget … Thanks to _____ for …. I am still confused by … A question I am leaving with … Something we could do next is … For tomorrow I will … How has God blessed you in this day?
When something bad happens, don’t ask why something happened, but ask “What happened?” Instead of punishment, ask and look for a solution to “What can be done now to make it better?”
Once we learn the story of another person, we become in relationship with that person. Choose picture books and novels to share that tell stories from other cultures.
Choose a new country every week. Find it on a map. Learn some facts about that country. Find out what some its needs are and pray together as a family for that country.
Choose a family in your school for which to pray each week. Do an act of service or send them a card of encouragement in that week.
Micah 6:8. What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.