If you’ve been tracking with us, you’ll know that we’ve been going through a preaching series called Unbelievable. Through this series we’re hoping to engage with the world around us as we seek to understand how God speaks to each of these very important and relevant questions. We want to shepherd God’s people lovingly, carefully and faithfully by declaring His truths, Our aim is not to stir controversy or to gain some more attendance through shock value or cheap gimmicks.
This past Sunday we had the privilege of having our brother Reverend Irwyn Ince from or sister church, City of Hope Presbyterian Church, come and preach on the topic of Injustice. I was eagerly awaiting this week as I was excited to hear Pastor Irwyn preach but also because of the weightiness and timeliness of the topic, especially as we consider all of the awful news like the deaths of both citizens and police officers, mass shootings in schools, as well as large scale injustices in the world at large that we’re unfortunately too used to hearing about these days.
We were blessed with a nice jolt of energy as he spoke with a volume and expressiveness that our group hasn’t been accustomed to and there was an excitement and conviction that felt like electricity within the room and in our hearts. But it wasn’t his giftedness or his personality that gripped us as much as it was the power of the gospel he was preaching that hit us like a sledgehammer that day.
I think the difficulty and the problem of trying to fight and remedy injustice is that often it feels like the unslayable dragon, a behemoth of an issue that there’s no hope of ever being able to fully resolve. There is no quick fix to injustice. There are a myriad of types of injustices: relational, political, racial, societal, socio-economical, the list can go on exponentially. Not only are these injustices present realities, but there are historical injustices that still haven’t been reconciled and future injustices that haven’t even occurred yet but are certain to come until Jesus returns to defeat injustice once and for all. So with all that considered, if often feels like we shouldn’t even bother with trying to fight injustice because it will always be a losing battle.
But what was refreshingly comforting about this past Sunday’s message was the paradigm-shifting perspective that comes with Forgiveness. As Irwyn preached from Luke 17:1-6, here are some of the key phrases that hit me like a ton of bricks (disclaimer: some of the phrases are paraphrased as I took down some quick notes:)
- The scandal of Christianity is endless forgiveness
- The Christian Community cares about justice and desires to live out the implications of forgiveness
- Forgiveness is the greatest injustice of all
- Forgiveness is not just the act itself but it means that I desire good for the one who offended me
- The Christian must stand ready to forgive and the Christian has no excuse NOT to forgive because we have been forgiven first.
The Greatest Injustice of all, is that Jesus the perfect, sinless son of God Himself, took the sins of wretched, broken, flawed and imperfect sinners upon Himself so that we could be forgiven and absolved of all our offenses and injustices. Because we have received this unmatched and unprecedented grace, kindness and forgiveness, we are now empowered and enabled to go and forgive injustices and offenses against us.
If each of us who believe this Good News were to apply this truth of forgiveness in the every day occurrences, perhaps we could see the implications of forgiveness and turn back the tides of injustice one person and one day at a time.
Check out the message for yourself when you have some time this week!