Thursday, January 25, 2007

Whose Rights?

In free western societies, the heavy emphasis on "rights" is sometimes hard to swallow ... and easy to get caught up in. It is easy, even in Christian circles, to think of "my" rights. Those of you who are on mission with God have learned, probably the hard way, that "my" rights are consumed into the will of God. He has the right to ask me to lay down "my" rights.

But Scripture does talk about "rights" that we are to fight for. No, not our own rights ... He asks us to lay those down out of love. But in one of many passages that address this matter, Proverbs 31:8-9 asks us to fight for the rights of the destitute, the poor and needy, those who cannot speak for themselves:

"Open your mouth for the mute,for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously,defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Earlier in verse 5, kings are warned not to get drunk "lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted."

Wherever you are today, you have a chance to fight for the rights that God calls us to stand up for. I know those of you on the field seek to do this daily. May we on this end of the task find the heart to see the significance of this aspect of your work, as you touch the heart of God by helping those whom no one thinks of when they mention "rights". As Kenneth Cragg writes,
"The meaning of the Church is more often 'caught' than taught. Too many theologians and ecclesiastics have gone astray in the past by seeking to locate the true Church, when they should have sought simply to be it. In the end, the Church will not so much identify itself by description, as be identified by others in recognition." (The Call of the Minaret, p. 301).

Let's seek to be the church today.

No comments: