THE BELOVED COMMUNITY…JUSTICE – 17 JUNE 2018

(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 11 – 17TH June 2018)

ICE BREAKER: Share a personal experience of a waterfall.

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ Luke 4:14-20; Amos 5:21-24 and Isaiah 1:16-17
1. Luke records in verses 18-19, the words spoken by Jesus as recorded in Isaiah 61. Most of us have heard these words proclaimed many times. What do they mean for you? Share with your group.

2. Justice is a word that is bandied about quite a lot as we see many atrocities and acts of injustice and inequality. What are your thoughts on matters of injustice and inequality?

3. Closer to home… there are many hot potato issues in SA – political strife, land issues, failing education and health systems, economic uncertainty to name a few. So often when faced with these issues our response is to flee into self-preservation mode. Why do you think this is so?

4. Let’s look a little deeper on this issue… we cannot ignore the deeper issues and causes of injustice, oppression and inequality, that are often designed to keep the poverty stricken in that place, or those trapped in life styles not necessarily of their choosing. How can the church – HMC and the broader church – offer a faithful, Gospel inspired, critique of systemic injustice that causes inequality?

5. Amos 5:24 is a beautiful passage – the NIV reads, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-ending stream.” One of my favourite spots in the Berg is a waterfall at the foot of the Bushman’s Nek mountains. When the rains have come, and the river is flowing strong, it’s a steady and endless flow of water over the rockface into a deep pool; onto some rapids and into the deeper quieter section, which just keeps rolling as the river meanders onwards. Imagine this and hold the picture in mind as you consider that Jesus came to right injustice… Where in your life or circle of influence could this verse in Amos be an outworking of your faith that brings justice and righteous living?

6. In his book, My Beloved Community, Andrew writes: “It’s a damnably hard thing to get people to look beyond themselves. It’s a true mark of maturity to do so. Your maturity in Christ is a movement from self-concern to an abiding concern for others.” In your praying, studying and worship do you sense the Holy Spirit at work within, maturing you to see beyond yourself to others?

7. What fruit could be borne and continue to be produced and harvested as a community that strives for justice and righteousness?