3 The Lord proclaims: Do what is just and right; rescue the oppressed from the power of the oppressor. Don’t exploit or mistreat the refugee, the orphan, and the widow. Don’t spill the blood of the innocent in this place.
It’s not enough to just not do bad things. We often think it is, and we use that to justify not doing the right thing:
“Well, I didn’t LIE. I just didn’t mention the truth.“
We are not called to just not do bad things, we are called to actively and purposely do good things. Those Three Simple Rules of Methodism don’t stop at “Do No Harm” but make sure to include, “Do Good”, and lastly, “Stay in Love with God”. Doing no harm is great, but is it a reflection of Christ if it isn’t doing good?
We can’t just not be racist, we have to be anti-racist.
We can’t just not be sexist, we have to stand up against misogyny.
We can’t just not be ableist, we have to create accessibility.
We can’t just not be homophobic, we have to create safe spaces for our LGBTQ+ neighbors.
In today’s text from the prophet, Jeremiah, there is a proclamation to “do what is right and just” by helping those who are being oppressed. This can feel huge, it can feel too big for us to do – but that doesn’t mean we don’t do it. When we allow the fear of not being enough to help, or the comfort of staying out of it keep us from helping those who need us, we neglect the call from God to share the love of Christ with everyone.
It’s not enough to just not do bad things. We have to also do good.
by Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Take a deep breath, and allow yourself the permission to honestly reflect over why you sometimes hesitate to help someone. What thoughts come to mind? What scenarios? What would it look like to truthfully bring that to God today and ask for God’s strength to rise above that fear.
Prayer: Holy Lord, You have called us to do good in this world. May we live that call out this day. Amen.