How to Follow Jesus into Peace
If you are following Jesus, but not doing anything to help the people around you, what do you even mean by "following Jesus?"
Everything I know about Jesus is that He is by the people and for the people. From the moment of His birth into a societally low position, Jesus was making waves amongst the throngs of patriarchy around Him. He was valuing humility over entitlement, humanity over power, and holiness over tradition. He fought strategically, not haphazardly. He fought in the one-on-one interactions by loving intimately and in the public eye by loving symbolically.
As I continue to follow Him, I am looking for opportunities to do the same. Sometimes that's in willingness to associate with those not in power; listening to their stories, respecting their perspectives, and responding to their needs.
It's also understanding the injustice in the larger system I am inevitably a part of. I need to know my enemy in order to be able to fight. I go through seasons where I can't get enough of understanding the system. From Yuval Harari's Sapiens to Caste by Isabel Wilkerson to We are the People. Pitch me your best resources please.
I also take breaks from this kind of research. It's overwhelming to me to unveil the giant web of death we're all operating within. Sabbathing is crucial for my survival amidst such depressing news. It helps me to remember that it is not all up to me. I have an infinitely greater Ally who cares more and has a bigger plan than I can comprehend.
While I will most certainly not be able to halt the abuses of power, economic disparity, or prejudice government, I can pull as hard as I can in the opposite direction. And eventually, with the millions of us chasing that same dream of Hope together, we will see revolution. We will see the full reconciliation of the world with the Creator and Giver of all good things.
The small things I'm focused on now are...
choosing to live more minimally (smaller footprint - For Days)
reducing my use of plastic (Blueland & Who Gives A Crap)
financially supporting justice organizations (like The Sentencing Project)
paying my people what they're due (Living wage)
tipping generously (food industry works HARD)
avoiding Amazon as much as possible (they pay small business entrepreneurs pennies) SHOP LOCAL (that also helps the carbon footprint)
Those may not seem like much in the grand scheme, but that's what's in my territory. I had to start somewhere and I had to start small. What's in your territory that you could start with today?
Unsplash: Emmanuel Thomas