Peace with Justice: Band-Aids Aren't Enough!
May 18, 2011
By Mary Liebke
CA-NV Peace with Justice Coordinator
The Rev. Roger Wolsey of Heritage United Methodist Church wrote the following words in his sermon for Peace with Justice Sunday this year (2011):
It seems like my three-year-old boy, Andrew, needs Band-Aids all the time. I'm tellin' ya, the kid has lots of boo-boos and owwies – nearly one a day! And it's almost always due to him "wiping out" in the driveway on the green plastic scooter that a certain set of grandparents bought him. :) I could just keep putting those Band-Aids on him day after day, or I could do something to prevent those injuries from taking place in the first place: I could try to find him some little toddler-sized knee pads; I could buy him some private Green Plastic Scooter lessons! I could try to make a new rule, not allowing him to ride it anymore. (Yeah, right!) Or, I could "accidentally" forget where that green plastic scooter is, one night, and then "accidentally" back over it with our minivan the next morning! Pretty tempting. The point is, there're all kinds of options, and I don't really have to keep on putting those Band-Aids on him if I can prevent him from having all of those accidents to begin with!
We can continue committing our acts of kindnesses, our mercies, by attending to specific needs – things such as giving a warm blanket to a homeless person on the street or serving a meal to a person who is hungry. And we can also focus on justice, which is a more systemic thing. It's about reforming the societal context and conditions in order to more fairly correct things when the decks are stacked against certain kinds of people. Justice is seeking to prevent the traumas from happening in the first place.
Let's fix the CAUSES of hunger and homelessness. People such as Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa excelled in personal acts of charity and mercy, while Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Micah, and Martin Luther King, Jr. focused on prophetic calls for social justice and transformation.
"How JUST is our world today?" Rev. Wolsey asks. We know there will be a greatly reduced need for Band-Aids in a world where "justice rolls on like a river, and righteousness like a never-failing stream." (Amos 5:24)
The 2011 Peace with Justice Sunday – "Changing the World, One Life at a Time" – will be observed on June 19.
When you give to Peace with Justice Sunday, you support ministries in the local Annual Conference, the United States, and worldwide – ministries which help to remove unjust systems and equip the victimized to live more fulfilled lives.
For some wonderful, inspirational worship resources, such as bulletin inserts, calls to worship and action, litanies of dedication, prayers, homilies, music, ACTION items, etc., visit http://www.umcgiving.org.
Apply for a Peace with Justice grant to help your church do its justice work through education, advocacy, political action, biblical witness, etc. Email Mary Liebke, Peace with Justice Coordinator for the California-Nevada Annual Conference, at firstname.lastname@example.org for a grant application and guidelines, and call her at 530.273.3678 for more information. Applications are due August 15, 2011.