All human life matters. All are precious in the eyes and the heart of God. The dignity of all human beings, at all stages of human life, is sacred.
Jesus did also say that the good shepherd leaves the 99 sheep and goes after the lost one. The 99 still matter, but the shepherd’s attention is focused in a special way on the ones in danger.
Recently there has been a focus on ‘Black Lives Matter’. The energy behind this movement has been huge.
For centuries black people have been exploited as slaves and second-class citizens, even by people who profess to be Christian.
So much has been done to African Americans and other black people and people of ‘colour’.
Here in Australia we have our own challenges of how we have, as a nation, treated our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
There has certainly been a build-up of anger about this which has exploded in many places.
It is also true that some extremists of both left and right have exploited this anger and joined in with peaceful protesters and have done a lot of damage.
There is no justification for the anarchy and destruction of property that has happened!
However, we also cannot ignore the real grievances that there are regarding miscarriages of justice to people of colour.
Pope Paul VI said years ago that there can be no peace without justice!
Certainly, for us Christians, it is important not to dismiss these very just claims. Some Christians are ignoring this reality because of some of the abuses by extremists. There is a tendency by some to equate Christianity with the status quo.
Jesus challenged the established order and status quo of his time when he needed to. It cost Him his life.
Christianity cannot, and should not, be ‘tamed’ as a servant of those with power.
Jesus who went looking for those most vulnerable, those most in need in his time, would expect nothing less from us.
Jesus said very clearly that He was not concerned with pleasing people, but with loving them. He did not care what people thought of Him. Jesus was concerned with doing the will of His Father.
I have come to bring liberty to captives, to set the downtrodden free, ………… not to put out the smouldering flame………….. I come for the sick who need a doctor.
People of colour, and our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, are not the only ones who need Him most, but they are certainly among those who need Him most. We need to walk alongside them in support, respect and mutual love, in their quest for justice and to be treated with the dignity that they deserve. It is not up to us to find solutions for them, but to help them find their solutions to their questions.
It is important that we do not forget to reach out to those most in need! We cannot ‘tame’ the Holy Spirit.
It is also important, as we fight for just causes, to not lose sight of the need to pray in the heart of God, and to do all in harmony with the will of God and God’s all-inclusive love.