Before we jump right into Day 1 let me provide an overview and explain our heart for the next 12 days. Our goal is to show the beautiful intersection of Christmas and justice that came in the form of Jesus. We want to shed light on various aspects of human trafficking and exploitation but also share hope and healing as well as provide tangible ways to get involved in the issue both domestically and globally. Each day we will provide 1) a short reading (either from scripture or other social justice-related materials), 2) examination questions that can guide your thoughts and responses, 3) opportunities for action, and 4) prayer points or requests directly related to what we’ve discussed. Please feel free to share this with friends, family, and others – we pray that this time of advent is one of hopeful anticipation as well as righteous indignation towards injustice.
Isaiah 16:4b-5 “The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease; the aggressor will vanish from the land. 5 In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it – one from the house of David – one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.”
Isaiah 9:1-7 “1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
- When talking about the coming Christ, Isaiah talks a lot about justice and freedom. When you think of Christmas what aspects of Jesus come to mind?
- Do you think our human, earthly view of justice is different from God’s view of justice? How?
- How does this verse apply to modern day slavery?
Apply/Action: Here is a list of donations that a local service provider, FAIR Girls (fairgirls.org), is seeking to give to their clients who are/were involved in commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. If you’d like to donate please contact Jessica Roberts (jessicaroberts419) to set up a time to drop off items. Items are needed by 12/18:
- Target gift cards for $10-$20
- Cute warm socks
- Fun stickers
- Nice bath and body products (anything that smells good!)
- Nail polish in fun colors
- Pretty journals
- Nice pajama sets for girls in adult S-XL sizes
- Gift cards to Safeway, Walgreens/CVS, Subway, Chipotle, Starbucks
- New toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Hand sanitizer
- Vouchers for movie tickets
- $6 Metro cards
- Wintery items (hats, gloves, scarves, boots, coats)
- New underwear M-L
- New socks
- Comforters and sheets for twin beds (for their crisis apartment)
- Art supplies
- Board games
- God – prepare our hearts and minds as we begin this journey. Give us overwhelming compassion and unending mercy so that we may respond as a people who care for the oppressed, those in distress and those with heavy burdens. Bless us with a sense of urgency to show love to others and be your hands and feet. Let this Christmas not be about gifts, parties and consumerism, but rather one where we bless others and bring about lasting change in a dark world. Thank you for sending us true justice and mercy in the form of a baby. We love you and strive to be more like you. Amen.