Help the Oppressed.
Defend the cause of Orphans.
Fight for the rights of Widows.”
I read these verses, like many others and think to myself, “yes, I should do those things. Those things are important.” But in the comfort and convenience of my life, how important are they really? What is interesting about these verses is that earlier in the chapter, God is rebuking Israel because of their religious acts that are void of any real meaning. They are basically going through the motions and God is tired of it. They are doing and saying all of the right things, but those things are empty, easy and not at all what God really desires.
It doesn’t take long to realize that in many ways the American church of today resembles many of these same characteristics. We know how to put on a rockin’ concert, conference or worship service. We know how to use social media to promote the “next best thing” coming out in our Christian sub-culture. We know how to tweet verses and sermon highlights. Actually we KNOW a lot.
A few years ago, God started doing some unraveling in me and His question to me was simply this:
“Melody, what are YOU doing with what YOU know?”
I began a personally painful journey that revealed to me that I was basically a Consumer in the Kingdom of God but not much of a Contributor. Anyone could look at my life and conclude that I talked about Jesus a whole lot but most my life revealed that I didn’t care too much about the things nearest and dearest to His heart.
A closer look at the life and ministry of Jesus reveals a Man who spent his time with the marginalized, the least popular, the poorest and the most forgotten. Those were the people He saw, gravitated to, healed and spent time with. When it came to the religious leaders, the ones who should have been modeling what “true religion” looks like…well, he had words for them too but they weren’t very warm and fuzzy.
What I am convinced of is that to truly love Jesus is to love the things He loved and to do the things He did. This can be uncomfortable, inconvenient and messy. It means standing up for things, fighting for people, giving to organizations and being on the front lines of causes that REALLY matter. Because here is the deal: If we won’t then who will?
This is why I care about Dressember. This is why I believe in its mission – because as the Church awakens to the horrific truth of human trafficking and rises up to fight for the millions of women and children who are enslaved, WE become the voice, the hands and the feet of Jesus. We become His ambassadors.
Dressember for me is about coming together as a community of women around the world who are saying to our sisters in bondage: WE SEE YOU. WE ARE FIGHTING FOR YOU. With every dollar Dressember raises, another woman and child move towards freedom. Every day organizations like A21 and International Justice Mission are rescuing and rehabilitating our sisters AND prosecuting the ones who enslaved them. This is the work of redemption. This is the work of justice.
This is the work of Jesus.
And I am a Jesus follower so it must be my work as well.