On April 9, 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis. His teachings on biblical community, justice and kinetic pacifism have significantly shaped my theology over the last two decades. In one of his early sermons he said, “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”
This insight and approach is one of the things that attracted me to ServLife International 15 years ago. There are immediate needs in our world that need a tourniquet, wounds that need a bandage now, today. But there are also systemic injustices woven into the fabric of society that must be addressed long-term. I love that ServLife is a community rescuing children today through care and education, and also investing in families and villages long-term through the micro-finance program. Not only that, but these short-term and long-term needs are blanketed by our largest need of Jesus Christ himself.
Jesus’ passion for justice and equity was at the heart of his mission, and he clarified as such when he launched his ministry in Luke 4, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Now Jesus has sent you and I to preach the good news and bring freedom to the oppressed. Thank you for being a part of this global kingdom-community that is rescuing children from homelessness and lack of education. Thank you for your long-term impact empowering families and entire villages through small business loans. Most of all, thank you for investing in pastors starting churches in remote villages to bring the hope and salvation of Jesus.
May we join Bonhoeffer and the many spiritual fathers and mothers before us who have modeled a life of biblical community and kingdom justice.