The college I attended and now work for is thee coolest place. I don't just say that because they are my Alma mater and I was told to always remain faithful or because it is now my job to bring others to the school (even though both of those are true), but because Northwestern actively lives of faith in the world and encourages students to do the same.
Once a year Northwestern has a Day of Learning in which students, staff, and faculty along with community members who choose to participate, engage in dialogue, learning, and discussion over relevant issues and topics in the world today. It is a day to essentially process and digest all that has been thrown at you by professors and put it in the context of being a faithful witness to God.
A few weeks ago our community dove into the topic of Jesus & Justice.
Although justice has turned into somewhat of a buzzword these days, it truly is a heart beat of Christianity. Justice translated words are used almost 3,000 times in the Bible, which is twice as many as love and heaven and seven times as many as hell.
Throughout the day we explored the idea of loving God and others not only with our hearts but also as intelligently and effectively as possible, the idea of stewardship.
You see when I was a younger Christian I was afraid of loving God with my mind. I thought thinking things through meant doubting and doubting was definitely frowned upon. To have faith was to accept who he was in a blissfully happy and innocent relationship with Jesus.
How freeing it is to know and trust that thinking deeply about my Lord and sometimes going through seasons of doubt is not only okay but makes my faith stronger because I know what I believe and why. All this to say, exploring topics of Jesus & Justice like systemic poverty, war and peace, short term missions, immigration, money, and racial segregation that don't have easy answers births freedom to think about, process, and empower one's faith.
My friends, if we talk about grace and giving second chances as people of faith yet we live by corrupt systems, what is this saying about our view of justice? If we are not called to care passionately about people who are not us, then we are not the church.
This challenge has been permeating my heart as of lately. Brothers and sisters, how can we love better, live wiser, and accept more freely? Let's truly engage in being the justice-acting Body of Christ rather than simply going to church that only speaks of justice and does not act. We are the Church!