- How did you feel about the sermon you heard on Freedom Sunday? What thoughts or feelings did it provoke? What did you find yourself thinking about after the service was over?
- For most of us, hearing that 45 million people are trapped in slavery can be staggering. How do we overcome the paralysis that a number like this can cause?
- In Luke 4:14-20, we see that Jesus’ mission goes beyond rescuing people from spiritual bondage. How might you describe the fullness of Christ’s mission to someone who had never encountered this passage?
- How does the ministry of justice overlap with the ministries of evangelism and compassion?
- How does hope for the future form the way you live now?
- Peter says, “We are born again into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3). How can we cultivate hope in the face of injustice? How can our hope empower and motivate us to stand against injustice?
- Read 1 Peter 2:1-7. What does it mean to come to Christ as a living stone” (v.4,6)
“Life in a concentration camp exposes your soul’s foundation, only a few of the prisoners were able to keep their full inner liberty and inner strength. Life only has meaning in any circumstances if we have a hope that neither suffering, circumstances or even death can not destroy.” - Victor Frankl
- In the Old Testament the temple was not just a place for worship, it was the place where heaven meets earth. A holy place filled with God’s truth, beauty and justice. A tiny glimpse of what God promised to do for all creation. Peter is saying there is now a new temple, made up of living stones, with Christ as the cornerstone. How can we, as ‘living stones’, provide a glimpse of the New Creation?
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of youbut to do, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6:8
- According to Micah 6:8, we’re required to “act justly”. This suggests that the work of justice is not passive. We’re not simply to “think justly” or to “feel justly”, but to tak? action. What does this mean for us? How exactly do we enact justice on a daily basis? How do we become brave enough?
- Consider the struggle against slavery in the 19th century, or the struggle against child labor, or the American civil rights movement. In each era, the church joined in by raising its voice as advocates for the poor. What would it look like for the church to actually lead the fight against slavery today?
Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.