DISCUSS the “Generous Justice” sermon and journaling responses using the journal guide from meeting 1.
ASSIGNMENT: Complete Part 2 of the Generous Justice Journaling Guide located below. Come ready to discuss your answers at your next meeting.
Generous Justice Response: Part 2
By Megan Koch
REVIEW Tim Keller’s message, “Generous Justice,” located in meeting 1, as well as any notes you took as you listened.
JOURNAL responses to the prompts below, and come ready to discuss these at your next meeting.
1. Who are the poor? Poverty is about much more than financial resources. Nicholas Wolterstorff often talks about the “Quartet of the Vulnerable:”
1. The widow
2. The orphan
3. The alien or immigrant
4. The [financially] poor.
These are people who are most easily taken advantage of or harmed, and the issues they face often compound on one another, creating generations of oppression that are very difficult to escape.
Do you identify with one of these four groups yourself, or have you in the past?
The world favors the voices of those with power and influence. How does this affect the vulnerable? How do you see this play out in the world, your country, your city, and your church?
2. Unjust living is not only about doing wrong things, but about not doing right things. When God puts good things in our hands (resources, gifts, abilities, forgiveness, etc.) and we withhold them from people who need it, we are not loving mercy. When we have good things and keep them for ourselves, we aren’t doing justice. We aren’t living in full partnership with God.
Pause and ask God to speak to you about this right now. What is he revealing to you?
3. Have you ever attempted to help someone, and suddenly felt confronted with how little you wanted to do with them? When you engage with difficult situations, do you become easily frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, or impatient? What do our reactions in these situations reveal about us?
4. A life of loving mercy and doing justice doesn’t just mend the broken world. It mends you.
When we encounter the broken, we’re able to see what is broken in us. Injustice can be like a mirror, reflecting back to us what is not right in our own hearts. Because if we are willing to call something “not good” in the world, God wants to help us see if that same issue is also “not good” in our own life. If we see someone lied to, taken advantage of, or hungry when their government could feed them, we need to be ready to face how we might do these same wrong things. This is, perhaps, why so few people truly partner with justice over the course of their lifetime. It is easier to avoid seeing these messes (if we are privileged enough to do so) and simply turn away, or send a check instead.
How can compassionate engagement with the brokenness of the world heal what is broken in your own heart?
5. Have you ever resisted God’s work in you through living justly? For example, has God ever offered you the opportunity to become more patient, more forgiving, or more selfless as you serve others? Have you always embraced these gifts? If not, what held you back?
If you want to engage with unjust practices in the world, are you willing to allow God to show you how you might be living an unjust life? Why or why not?
6. Keller said that “Justice is the sign of justification.” When we are justified by God, then we will extend justice to the brokenness of the world. When the world sees the church extending justice, then they will in turn want to be justified by God. The cycle is complete!
Put simply, if we as Christians are saved by God, then we should be on the frontlines of bringing justice to this earth. So begin thinking about your own life: What could “living justly” start to look like in your life?