This week marks the beginning of JMI’s capital campaign that we’ve christened, “Make Justice Personal!”
It is a fitting slogan with a meaning that harkens back to our name, but also the Scripture that inspired our name: “The Lord has told you, O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
When we settled on that name I wasn’t sure I liked it. I’ve always been more partial to mercy than justice, mostly because I know my eternal future depends entirely on God’s predisposition to be merciful. It is mercy and compassion that stir my soul. Justice, on the other hand, just has an ominous feel to me.
But when I think more deeply about it, I see another reason why I’ve shied away from the demands of justice. Justice is resolute where I am ambivalent. Justice is proactive where I am contented. Justice bears the call to action where I prefer to be undisturbed. It does not equivocate. It does not compromise. Justice wields a sword and shouts for you to join the cause: “Let justice be done though the heavens should fall!” (John Adams)
Whereas opportunities to be merciful serendipitously come your way, our world is awash in injustice. Hungry children on that side…subsidies NOT to plant fields on this. Orphans whose only prayer is for someone to love them on that side…families choosing to dissolve without exhausting every remedy for the promise of a better love on this. Girls forced into sexual slavery and the most degrading perversions on that side…”recreational sex” and free contraceptives on this.
Belief in Christ, if it is to mean anything at all, surely must require more of us than what we have demonstrated to date. Surely the Savior who placed himself under the scourge of a whip and the agony of a cross for our sakes can’t be satisfied because I answered “present” at church and gave an offering that I scarcely felt.
Now is the time to Make Justice Personal. That or just own up to the fact that we are not who we pretend to be…that we will accept the blessings but we’ll not be inconvenienced…that we will praise and pray, but not make sacrifices…that we will smile at the stranger, but not take him in.
JMI has a set of goals for this year: to purchase a transitional living home for orphans in Moldova…to build a school in a remote village in Brazil…to raise support so that children in Red Hill, South Africa can continue to have a witness to Christ and his goodness in their secluded, impoverished village. There is a price tag to these benefits – $450,000. If you’re not doing anything more eternal with your resources and your life, perhaps you would join us and use this time to Make Justice Personal!