lENT 2021 bIBLE rEADING PLAN
March 18th: Justice -- Dr. Tim Mackie (bibleproject.com)
How did God see those forgotten by society? How did Jesus care for the widows, the orphans, and the foreigners?
Today we focus on the theme of justice in the story of the Bible. In Genesis 1 all humans are appointed to be the image of God and rule the world together on God’s behalf. But history has proven that we all find it very difficult to treat each other with sacred dignity, especially in moments of economic crisis. What would it look like to recapture God’s passion for justice in our own day?
Read and Discuss
Read Deuteronomy 24:17-22
In passages like this one, we can see that God deeply cares for the vulnerable––the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow. These laws address equality and care for the vulnerable. Notice that the motivation given is, “you used to be slaves in Egypt.” In other words, everyone shares this in common.
Question 1: What stood out to you as you read this passage?
Question 2: Who are the vulnerable today?
Question 3: How does recognizing that you have also been redeemed by Jesus impact how you think about yourself and others?
Read Isaiah 58:1-14
In this passage, we find that God’s people are neglecting the vulnerable in their communities, while continuing in their rhythms of worship (the Sabbath, prayer, and fasting). But what God cares about most is that his people do justice and care for the oppressed in their community.
Question 1: Did anything in this passage surprise you?
Question 2: In what ways do we sometimes focus on external practices rather than what matters most to God?
Question 3: What injustice grieves you the most right now? What do you think God thinks and feels about this?
Read James 1:26-2:5
James describes genuine devotion to God as being aware of the needs of vulnerable people in our communities and doing something about it. He talks about how we are easily blind to inequality and sometimes even play a part in it. James actually sees the poor as having a privileged position because they can more easily see their need for God’s provision and grace.
Question 1: Who around you might need support in this crisis?
Question 2: Where do you find hope when there’s injustice in and around us?