On Thursday, February 2, National Freedom Day, Dave Batstone of Not For Sale contributed a blog on the CNN Freedom Project blog. Check it out
“Truly He taught us to love one another. His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother and in His name all oppression shall cease.”
Jesus’ incarnation was the realization of the hope that our weary world longed for. Jesus, the beloved Son of God, became man to bring justice in the world; to reconcile us to Himself through His death and resurrection; to bring wholeness and healing everywhere there is brokenness.
This season, spend time savoring and meditating on the promises He declared in such scriptures as Is. 9:1-7, Is. 42, Is. 60, and Is. 61, that were realized in Christ. Savor hymns like O Holy Night. Savor Him. Let it fill you with hope of the reality of the Light that has come, that is relentlessly reaching into every dark place to bring life and justice, and that no place is too big or small. Pray for those impacted by human trafficking, such as victims, perpetrators, and communities, with confidence in His persistent love and life up every burden in your life in the light of His extravagant grace. Rest in His love and rejoice in Him.
Q:What can the faith community do, beside pray for folks like you?
This question was asked by a pastor to Cptn. Nick Sensely, a leader in the anti- human trafficking movement, at a recent talk in Fresno on October 1.
Sensely: If you think back to the previous abolitionist movements and the claims that the church stood by idly on that issue…
You must decide that this is your mission.
The church needs to say “This is our mission. We acknowledge, realize, that human trafficking still exists in America, and in the world, and our most vulnerable populations, our children, are its greatest victims, and we have a responsibility to find out how we can be part of the solution: How we can sponsor trainings, and gather, how we can find shelter, clothing, support, create and support safe houses… We need to be part of the solution. We need to be part of the collaborative.” Believe me, there’s a role for the church. You are the community based organization.
Two weeks ago, some of the members of CVJC had the privilege to meet with and hear from Chief Nick Sensely. Sensely is the retiring Chief of Police in Truckee, leadership consultant with Pointman, and,for over a decade, a leader in the fight against human trafficking. He developed the CARE model, a methodology used worldwide in anti-human trafficking effort, helped develop the first U.S. human trafficking task force, and is currently working with the Northern and Central California Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, among other answers to his prayer to be part of the solution. He was the guest speaker for Jaron Ministries’ solemn assembly in Fresno to honor law enforcement. Later that day, he spoke about his involvement in human trafficking and answered questions. The above was the last question.
Read 1 Colossians 1:1-23, 2 Cor. 5:14-21
“For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.”
Spend some time in Colossians 1:1-23. Savor all that it says. Consider the reality of Christ, creating and sustaining all things.
Jesus came to proclaim, in word and in action, the good news of the Kingdom of God. (Luke 4:43)
The good news of His superior justice. The good news that He was sent to make things right. The good news of His work of reconciliation that is currently going on.
He was sent to reconcile all things to Himself, for the glory of God. All things includes all people, creation, systems, communities, and every other created thing.
In his ministry of reconciliation, things that were broken are made new, whole, and heal, and what they were made to be.
Within the world of human trafficking is much that is not right. There is, within, brokenness in relationships with one another, with the community, with God, and a brokenness of how each person sees themselves.
We are called to that ministry of reconciliation, according to 2 Corinthians 5:14- 21.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (vs. 18-19)
We have the extraordinary opportunity to partner in Jesus’ work of reconciliation in the lives of victims/survivors, buys, sellers, and the communities that support or promote the work of oppression. We partner in His work of healing and mending the brokenness of the community, of individuals, of relationships, so that they came be healthy, thriving, and all they were made to be. We partner in His work to reconcile the church to the relationships it was made for in its community and bring His justice so that the church and its members live fully in all we are called to be. We partner with different groups in the community, including law enforcement, to make this possible, respecting their authority and roles, recognizing their part in God’s work of justice.
This is an expression of the good news and the work of ambassadors of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation.