Welcome to our new blog series: Diving deeper into the JustUs Video Series!
A few years ago we launched the JustUs Video Series “Explore Poverty & Justice”. In five short videos we introduced several concepts related to Poverty and Justice. Our goal was to strike up conversations with young people toward a better understanding of what poverty is and how it is related to justice. Furthermore, the series challenged us to think about our views on this pending issue that is visible all around us. What is our role in alleviating poverty? How can we be involved in doing justice? There are plenty of ways to be engaged in working toward justice in your community and around the world. Yet, in the series, we always come back to God and his heart for justice. He is the only one who brings true peace and justice into the world. He is doing the restoration work in the world and generously invites us to join him.
With this blog series we want to revisit our video series together with you. Each video in the series had one big overarching theme and a few additional ideas that were explored. We thought it would be worthwhile to break down the series into the different ideas mentioned and explore them together with you. In a bi-weekly rhythm, you can follow us as we unfold some more of our thoughts on poverty and justice. Each post will include a section for reflection that then leads into a challenge.
Overview of the Blog series
In the first blog post Laura introduces us to The Concept of Shalom. We often translate this Hebrew word as peace, but Shalom is so much more than peace. It is a state of wholeness and everything perfect. It is what God intended the world to be in the first place and what He is working towards again.
Next up, Laura ponders about Poverty. Influenced by the works of Brian Fikkert, one of the leading researchers on poverty alleviation in the Christian world, she shows how poverty can take on different forms. While the lack of material resources is one way we can experience poverty, it is not the root of poverty.
In the third blog Chris explores The Importance of Worldviews and how culture and believes shape our lives. Often we are unaware of our own worldview – why we explain the world and see things the way we do. With so much information and ideas within our reach, we are presented with many competing worldviews. The challenge is: how can we be shaped by the Gospel and God’s view on the world.
Our next blog, called The Fly in the Eye, tackles the need for thoughtful strategy. Karis invites us to redefine the problem (poverty) from God’s perspective. In order to alleviate poverty we have much to learn. Often our solutions to eradicate poverty are driven by an uninformed mind and motivated by becoming the hero. Hence, an attitude of humility is key. The first step toward alleviating poverty is to recognize our own brokenness.
Defining people from different countries, ethnic backgrounds and diverse cultures as other, is an excluding behaviour. This is the topic of our fith blog. However, beginning by recognizing that we are all created in the image of God helps us overcoming the danger of Otherness. Andy shares his thoughts on embracing the richness stemming from different cultures and diverse people. Consequently, that’s why we believe there is no other, there is just us.
Our sixth blog in the series explores what it means to join in on God’s work. After all, Jesus calls his followers to be ambassadors of reconcilation. Joining God’s Work of restoration, is more than a mission. It is a way of life. Chris makes a call for a missional lifestyle that follows the ways of Jesus in all we do. God is among us building his new kingdom of peace. This blog invites us to reflect His love at school, at work, in our families and the communities we live in.
In conclusion, Kristie shares in the final blog what Being Part of the Change can look like. When we seek God first, we realise that we need to be changed before we want to bring change to other people. Change starts with humility – learning about the state of the world and most importantly listening to God.
To start off the series, let’s ponder over the words from Micah 6:8
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.“
At JustUs this is our goal. How does Micah 6:8 apply to your life?
With this series, we want to invite you to join us on this journey of walking humbly with our God doing justice and loving kindness.