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Theme: Where does injustice come from? Post your thoughts!

Summary: During week 2, community groups discussed the “sickness of the heart” that the Bible talks about. Groups discussed how people can be changed for the better, and we read a passage from the book of Matthew, chapter 7, in which Jesus exposes the religious leaders of his day who tried to make themselves good through following all the rules, yet all their rule-following could not heal the sickness of their hearts. Jesus’ message is unique in that he identifies injustice in society as something that stems from something broken within humans. Groups also discussed a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in which Dr. King discussed another of Jesus’ stories. This time, Jesus tells a religious leader that he must be born again, that is, his whole structure must be changed. He can’t make himself good by following rules, but there must be a radical inner transformation that occurs to heal the sickness of the heart. In Jesus’ view, there is a connection between injustice in society and the condition of the human heart.

Summary of Week 1:

“We might think that the images and language we use to frame those who live encumbered by injustice are more or less benign… What I am arguing, however, is that evil arises from the seedbed of our heart and goes on to misname the world, letting injustice exist “out there” while we go on seeing and naming the world in ways that serve our interests…

Meanwhile, others suffer while we look through scratched lenses, or shutter our windows and don’t look out at all. We then frame our perceptions, blindness or dispassion with words that sustain patterns of injustice and leave us feeling free from any real responsibility. We write ourselves out of the story and thereby out of any relationship with the suffering of others. It’s our language game.”

Prof. Mark Labberton, Fuller Theological Seminary, From The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor

Examine this biblical text using Labberton’s quote as a framework:

Questions to ponder: To whom do we give the name “neighbor”? How does justice +/or injustice stem from the way we use language? In the story, naming justly led to restored life for the dying man; how might this practice bring life to our world? Who is in our “circle of ‘we'” and who do we label “them”? How are we experiencing Jesus’ challenge to name justly in life this week?

How is the project going? Share you thoughts, stories, and experiences! 

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