What keeps you up at night or deeply worries you when you dwell on it?
This Sunday, we heard from Leah Wiley & Capital Area Justice Ministry, an organization that Element3 Church has partnered with & joined in recent years.
Beginning by reading Micah 6:8 & Nehemiah 5:2-5. As Leah outlined, these verses guide CAJM in their work to hold city, county, & state leaders accountable in the pursuit of justice. In particular, they highlight how God often uses “people power” to instill change rather than relying purely on the kind of power found in position titles or financial resources.
With this in mind, discuss how you understand the nature & pursuit of justice.
How would you define justice? What does it address & what must take place for it to be brought about?
Where does your heart break over injustice in the world? What might the pursuit of justice look like in that area?
Next, read Matthew 5:10-12. Here, Jesus proclaims a blessing over those who are persecuted because they pursue to create righteousness or right relationships. Critically, in the Hebrew worldview, justice is defined as the necessary actions that must be taken to restore right, equitable, & fair relationships (or righteousness) when it’s broken in our world.
Based on your own experiences, does pursuing God-inspired justice (acts that seek to restore right, equitable, fair relationships) often lead to persecution or opposition? Where do you see this currently taking place?
Currently, CAJM works alongside 30+ churches (including E3) to bring about change in three primary areas: raising funds to create affordable housing, promoting the use of prevention warnings rather than arrests for youth offenders, & seeking to alleviate gun violence through intervention, education, & training.
Have issues related to gun violence, affordable housing, or youth arrests personally affected you or those near you? If so, how? Why are such issues so important for the health of our city & country?
Critically, each of these issues are deeply impacted by politics &, simultaneously, have roots & side-effects that transcend the arena of politics altogether.
How do you perceive these particular areas of focus to be both political & bigger than politics at the same time? How should the Church seek to engage & seek justice within such complicated & complex social issues?
The Good Soil
Despite progress, CAJM continues to work to promote change within these areas. As part of that work, CAJM continues to ask our officials to hear the cries of the people gathered together as its primary means of effecting change. More so, CAJM wants to work with its partner organizations to grow its reach & engage new areas of justice in the coming years.
With this in mind, what other justice issues in our city do you believe will need to be addressed in the coming years? How might E3 & CAJM be able to help in these areas?
NOTE: Growth Group Leaders, please keep track of your group’s answers & email them to Pastor Lori (email@example.com).
The Big Ask
The ask coming out of this week’s lesson is that all of us would join together for the Nehemiah Action on March 19, 2024 @ 6:30pm. At this gathering, we will being asking various local officials to join together in asking for holistic change in the issues that have been identified. This is a time to be an observer & also to cheer on holistic justice with 500+ other church-goers in Tallahassee.
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
Matthew by Stanley Hauerwas
Coming Up This Week:*
Saturday, October 22nd: Join us next Sunday for the LAST week of our series on The Beatitudes, as well as for a big surprise!
* Please see mye3.org for details.