Seeking justice without worship leaves us attending to the second greatest commandment by bypassing the first. This pathway risks the unveiling of a new kind of legalism in our hearts. This new legalism is expressed in a ruthless pursuit of justice that stems from a heart that has not itself been examined for its own injustice. – Bethany Hoang from Deepening the Soul for Justice
A more spiritual person would probably not be celebrating today, but I am not that person. Today was the last day I had to fast as a part of The Year of Justice initiative. For someone who loves food, this was a tough spiritual discipline for me to institute. At the beginning of this year, I committed to a once a week mini-fast (skip a meal) and a once a month 24 hour fast. My typical plan was to skip lunch on Sundays on those weeks in which I wasn’t fasting the full 24 hours. (Some weeks I had to switch the meal or the day of the week and some weeks I skipped it all together). This week, as my final fast, I was lame and did a breakfast fast just so I could celebrate with McDonald’s for lunch and enjoy the completion of the year. Nothing says total commitment like looking for the easy way out. Sorry, even after a year, I’m just not as faithful as I want to be.
How did the year go? Well, corporately (including this post) we published 153 blog posts (52 prayer topic posts and 101 posts on issues of justice or organizations addressing justice issues). We covered topics across the globe from feeding the homeless to female genital mutilation. We asked the hard questions about racial reconciliation and how to solve the refugee crisis. This was a year of learning, loving, and, yes, fasting. We prayed together and separately. We knew God inspired this year and we knew that without prayer, all our efforts would be like filthy rags. But now, our year is over. What’s next?
While the year is over, The Hannah More Project isn’t. We will continue to write, pray, and love. We will continue to share about organizations and opportunities to engage the world in Biblical justice. We will be spending time this year focusing on the ways individuals can engage in this fight. Inspired by A Mile Wide (Brandon Hatmaker), we are looking at building missional communities. We love the Legacy Collective, hands-on service opportunities that develop meaningful relationships, and living more intentionally. We are focusing this year on volunteerism. The Christian life is about faith and action. We are saved by faith, but a faith without works is dead. Let us be doers of the word and not hearers only.
So what can you do?
We welcome submissions. Share your stories with us. Tell us about what you’re doing, what your church is doing, or what an organization you support is doing.
Learn more about an issue of injustice, oppression, or violence, and share that with others either through a blog post or in your sphere of influence (or both!).
Commit to a year of service. Join with others to serve in your community and your world. Commit to volunteering at least once a month with the same organization in order to develop relationships. It’s okay to volunteer for more than one organization (there are so many it’s hard to narrow it down), but don’t spread yourself so thin you aren’t of much good to anyone. You can’t solve all the world’s problems, so trust God to stir someone else to meet other needs.
And pray! Gather a group of like-minded individuals together to pray. Pray in your quiet times. Pray over your service, your community, your nation, and your world. Pray!