The first half of 2020 has been a very difficult time for all of us. Serious concerns have risen to the surface that leave us confused, concerned, overwhelmed, and full of empathy. The Elders and staff at JeffStreet want to be straightforward: We are broken people and as followers of Jesus we want to be part of the solution.
The Bible speaks to the concerns we’re facing right now. It is clear that all humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and that God hates – and promises to punish – injustice and mistreatment (Proverbs 22:8). God will execute justice for the oppressed (Psalm 146:7). It speaks clearly about our responsibility to love our neighbors — all of them.
The fight against racism should concern everyone – because racism goes against the commandment of love. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31).
Scripture teaches, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20).
To love our neighbors is to respect them as unique persons made in the image and likeness of God. When we do not offer this respect to others, then we dishonor the Creator. The leadership at JeffStreet believes this is a good time to:
- Examine our heart and repent of our own sinful attitudes towards others.
- Denounce evil and the systems that support it.
- Work for reconciliation and extend love to our neighbors.
- Listen respectfully to others, particularly those we haven’t always heard.
- Take a learning posture.
- Search and study the Scriptures and pray.
- Look for effective ways to take action.