The following article is taken from the IL/WI District Church of the Brethren newsletter ¨The Reflector¨ July 2017, Volume 14, Issue 6. If you´d like to subscribe to the Reflector, please leave a message in our contact box and we will have one sent directly to your inbox.
Approximately one month ago, I served as the moderator for a public forum on the State Budget Impasse, which was held in the community of Canton. The forum focused on educating persons within our county about the adverse effects the state budget impasse was imposing on school districts, nursing homes, community colleges, and other social agencies, all of which depend on state funding for operational needs. Persons no longer receiving services from these agencies or who were likely to no longer be served as a result of the impasse stood to lose the most. For those of us who put the forum together, the impasse posed not so much a political matter but more so a justice issue.
The forum also called for action, one of which was to send signed cards to state legislators and the governor. Signed cards were hand-delivered to the Springfield offices of 3 legislators and the governor, each office receiving over 1,000 cards. In addition, the forum received press coverage and was shared on several websites and social media outlets.
How much impact this forum had on government officials is precisely unknown. Nonetheless, the State of Illinois for the first time in 2-years has a budget. While this is something to celebrate in terms of justice for the served and vulnerable populations in our state, a tremendous amount of work remains to be done to address needed pension reforms and other matters for improving the State’s financial position.
“We will do well to ask, how will the decisions I make or the actions I take impact the served and most vulnerable among us?”
As our state government moves forward, it is my hope that justice remains at the forefront of their work. I hope that any effort on our part to be involved is tempered by justice, as well, in public and social as well as political arenas. We will do well to ask, how will the decisions I make or the actions I take impact the served and most vulnerable among us?
Jesus came not for the healthy. Rather Jesus entered the space of this world to ensure that the served and vulnerable received justice. Jesus practiced his commitment to the good of others not through economic reforms but by the transformation of the minds, hearts, and souls of those with whom he engaged. The work of Jesus is just, and as we continue this work, we perpetuate justice and goodness to all.
Sometimes we do this work in public forum settings. More frequently, though, it is in our daily living that we most effectively and efficiently reveal the justice of Jesus. May we be mindful of the injustice around us, and may we be faithful servants to do good so that justice may be served to everyone and in every place.