This just in from Great Britain. Police said a man dressed as the caped crusading crime-fighter Batman marched a 27 year old man into the Trafalgar House Police Station in the early morning hours. The man was charged with handling stolen goods and fraud, as well.
Police said: “The person who brought the man in was dressed in a full Batman outfit. His identity remains unknown.” Not true, of course. We all know he was Bruce Wayne.
Two questions are running through my mind. One, why do these guys always dress up as Batman? Why not Superman. Or Green Hornet. Or Aquaman. Two, how does Brit Batman differ from American Batman (other than the accent)? Any answers to these two questions, readers?
God may not dress up or wear a cape (I don’t really know, maybe he does sometimes), but he is a crusading crime-fighter and a poverty fighter. And he does stand for justice for all. Let the emphasis be not only on justice but also on for all.
Are you currently in a pickle? Having a hard time? In need of a hero? Please, don’t call on that fake Batman in Britain. Instead, look to the true God, the fighter for those who call on him.
The Lord says: “What I like best is showing kindness, justice, and mercy to everyone on earth.” Jeremiah 9
Rylee MacKay, 15, had been dyeing her hair the same shade of auburn every 6 weeks since September. On February 4 the vice principal of Hurricane Middle School spotted Rylee in the halls and sent her to the office. Though the school dress code said “naturally occurring color” was okay, Rylee’s auburn-hued hair was deemed a violation. She was sent home.
After 4 days of washing her hair, Rylee’s hair had faded enough “to be acceptable” and she was allowed back in class. I’m sorry, though I agree with dress codes in general, who determines which color is a no-no…really now! (I mean look at the picture above, taken before she started washing her hair!!!).
God plays no favorites. Your hair can be green and orange…you can dress in all purple and white stripes…you can be ugly, mean, rude…it doesn’t matter. God takes you as you are. Any church which believes in the Bible will open its door to anyone. Their message is: Come in, sit down, enjoy the love of God. The color-blind love of God.
Perhaps, you’ve had a bad experience with a church judging how you dress, who you are, how you act. Well, that’s not the way all churches are. Keep looking. God is waiting for you to walk into his arms.
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3
Bahrain is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. In 2011 Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, former leaders of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association, were convicted of calling for a teachers strike in their country.
On October 21, 2012, an appeals court upheld the guilty verdict against Mahdi and Jalila. While in detention they were held in solitary confinement and subjected to torture and forced to sign “confessions.” They’re both now serving prison sentences.
Such examples of social injustice go on every day in the world. Social injustice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities. Here in America we are not immune. Consider the areas of health care, poverty, racism, physical and sexual abuse, and intolerance of faith.
God didn’t make this world to allow social injustice. It’s entirely mankind’s doing. Here’s what God believes about social justice…straight from his own lips (via The Bible):
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them. Isaiah 58
Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want. Amos 5
Do you see any social injustice going on in your world? Could you do something about it? Could you speak up? God is standing beside you if you choose to do so.
Have you ever seen one of those new car commercials on tv that promise you hundreds and hundreds of dollars in savings? Listen! Can you hear the announcer? “Five hundred dollars cash back and an extra two hundred on any trade-in, no matter what condition your car’s in!” But, right at the end of the commercial, have you ever hit the pause button on your remote…and waited for the time line at the bottom of the screen to go away…so you could read the fine print down there? There are all kinds of special conditions for getting that money and not just every trade-in gets the extra money! Things aren’t always as they seem.
Your word is truth. John 17
Jesus is. Jesus is as he seems. With him what you see IS what you get. What he says IS what he means. Exactly. Isn’t it nice in this world we live in, to find someone who can be trusted to lay it out the way it is. No pretense. No white lies. No, as my math teacher used to say, “fudging” (she didn’t like to use the word “cheating”).
Have you got someone in your life you can trust? Someone you know is there for you…every time, no matter what? Someone who never fudges? You can.
There’s recently been a resurgence of the music of Bob Marley, raggae singer, dreadlocks, sinuous voice, singing of revolution, justice, and romance. You may have seen his picture on a poster or T-shirt. Perhaps, this is because of all the interest right now in social justice. His belief was that no matter who you were you should be treated right and with respect. One and all. Where did his ideas come from? Bob once said: “Man can’t do without God. Just like you’re thirsty, you have to drink water. You just can’t go without God.”
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. Matthew 5
The verse for today is Jesus speaking to a crowd of people. Justice was important to him, it’s a theme that runs through the entire Bible. How important was it to him? He says “hunger and thirst for justice.” You need food and water, they are necessities of life. You have to have them to live. Jesus says those people who are just will be “satisfied,” they’ll be fulfilled and at peace with themselves.
“I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy.” Ever hear that oldie sung by Eric Clapton? That was written by Bob Marley. It’s about social injustice. Do you thirst for justice in the world? Are you thirsting for God, too?
Here you can watch the Bob Marley’s version of “I Shot the Sheriff.” NOTE: Make sure no one can see you because you’ll probably have to get up and dance!
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22
Russell Hantz. A mean, controlling, man, some think. And, where did we meet him? On the reality show “Survivor.” Since the object of the game is to outplay, outwit, and outlast all your opponents, Russell might be seen as one of the show’s greatest players. He lied and manipulated others to do things to move him closer to the million dollar prize.
Survivor–outwit, outplay, outlast. that’s what you do in the survivor community. But that’s not what Jesus says is important. He says the two most important commandments are to love God…and love your neighbors as yourself. That’s not so easy, is it. We might not even know the names of our neighbors, much less love them. But Jesus expects us to live in a community that’s vastly different from “Survivor.”
Today as you walk out your front door and see your neighbor, think about what it might look like to “love your neighbor as yourself.” And consider how much better your community might be if we all did so.