Tuesday, July 19, 2011

consider the oppressed, Ecclesiastes 4

The preacher (king Solomon) considers all of those that are oppressed and he thinks that those who have lived a life of oppression are better dead than alive or, better yet, not yet born.  Why? Because there is no comforter for the oppressed.

Wow!! Isn't that an awful perspective and an even worse possibility.....there is none who will comfort the oppressed.  How insulated we are from such a condition where there is no hope.  But doesn't the Bible tell us that Jesus came to give hope to the helpless, Grace to the hopeless and to restore the Faith of the broken hearted?  Don't the scriptures promise peace and justice?  Yes, they do and when those things come, the kingdom of God will be near at hand.

We see glimpses of the kingdom as we read of the life of Jesus.  The hungry are fed, the blind see, the lame walk, the woman caught in sin is offered forgiveness.  John the Baptist, alone in prison and waiting to be executed for his faith sends a disciple to Jesus to ask, "are you the one or should I look for another."  Jesus response was not a yes or a no to his cousin but "go tell John that the lame have learned to walk and the poor can hear the word of God and the deaf can hear me talk and the blind can finally see."  Why, what does this mean?  These were the signs that had been promised by the prophets that the Messiah the Savior had come.  Restoration had begun.  Jesus had announced at the beginning of his ministry that the "Spirit of the Lord is upon me.   I have been anointed to preach the good news to the poor.  I am sent to proclaim freedom to prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind and to release the oppressed."  The Savior comes to comfort the comfortless and to gave aid to the oppressed...these are the signs that the Kingdom of God draws near.

We are the Body of Christ and have been trusted to usher the reign of God into this world.  We do this by declaring the year of our Lord and by restoring that which has been upset by the fall of man.  We are the comforters, we are the healers, we are the freedom fighters, we are those who give hope because we follow in the image of the one who is Hope and Health, Justice and Liberty, Freedom and Eternity.

We are those who declare, contrary to the Preacher in Ecclesiastes, there is hope for the helpless, there is help for the hopeless, there is comfort for the broken-hearted.  We have seen him and we bear his image and offer this to the oppressed of this world.  There is good news and his name is Jesus.

Is there oppression in places that we can influence?  Are there people that need to be comforted and lifted?  Do we have the heart, the faith, the passion to do the work of the Master?  That is our challenge....we who bear the mark of the Christ and call ourselves Christian.

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