Keep Standing

In this final part of our Esther teaching series, Stand Up: How to Fight Injustice, we are reminded that since injustice never sleeps, we can’t either.  Over the course of this conversation I offer four ways we can make sure our lives are always ready to fight injustice.  Keep reading to find out what they are.

 

Keep Standing

Last weekend was the annual Relay for Life Walk event.  While it has gotten pared back a bit over the years, the original vision for the event was for it to last for a full 24-hours.  One of the original slogans that accompanied the all-night walk was that we could walk throughout the night because “cancer never sleeps.”  The big idea here is that cancer is always on and so we must be also.  We must be ever vigilant to halt its life-stealing advance.  Because it never takes a day-off, we can’t either.  This kind of militaristic sentiment works for a while, but eventually people start to get tired.  Sometimes the very advances to which their support of cancer research has contributed allows some folks to relax a bit and let up on the pressure.  It’s tough to stay motivated to support a single cause for a long period of time. Read the rest…

Stand Up and Speak

In this second-to-last installment of our series, Stand Up: How to Fight Injustice, we reach the climax of the story.  Esther finally acts to confront the king about the genocidal decree he signed on behalf of his evil advisor, Haman.  And yet, unlike most stories we tell today, the fate of the Jewish people was not resting on Esther’s shoulders alone.  The same goes for our own battles against injustice.  We need to confront it, but then we need to step back and let the One with the power to make things happen take the reins.  Keep reading to see how this goes.

Stand Up and Speak

Do you remember Harry Potter?  Although I didn’t read the series until I was in college during the summer with not nearly enough else to do, The Sorcerer’s Stone was first published the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school over 20 years ago.  The final book, The Deathly Hallows, was released 10 years later.  It’s difficult to overestimate just how big the cultural impact worldwide of those seven books have been.  The adventures of “the boy who lived” have captivated the imaginations of a whole generation; multiple generations in fact.  With a dedicated theme park at Universal Studios, plays, and a new trilogy of movies that precedes the original series, the legacy will continue as long as there is money to be made. Read the rest…

Stand with Humility

In this fourth part of our series in Esther, Stand Up: How to Fight Injustice, we finally get to the action Esther takes to battle the gross injustice facing the Jewish people in Persia.  But, the exact nature of her action really isn’t all that important.  Rather, it’s how she goes about it that matters most.  Keep reading to see just what it is she does that makes her plan so effective.

 

Stand with Humility

I was born in what some would call the Golden Age of cartoons.  While they weren’t making new episodes, I had all the classic Looney Toons shows available to me.  But I came of cartoon age with the truly classic versions of Batman, Superman, Justice League, the X-Men, and Spider-Man.  I grew up loving superheroes—a love that is now being richly rewarded on the big screen.  The rewards are coming mostly from Marvel Studios which by next May when the fourth Avengers movie releases will have given us 25 movies over the span of 11 years, all telling one, big, overarching story.  It’s a little like the comic book world’s film version of the Bible.  And indeed, the latest Avengers movie has crossed the billion dollars in ticket sales mark faster than any other movie.  I’ve seen it: It was amazing.  It is not a standalone film, however, so I am eager as can be to catch part two next May. Read the rest…

Stand with Conviction

In part two of our new teaching series, Stand Up: How to Fight Injustice, we looked together at the next part of the story of Esther.  Mordecai stands up to do the right thing…and everything goes wrong.  Through this hard turn of events we are reminded that if we are going to stand against injustice, we are going to have to make a commitment to do the right thing regardless of the outcome.  Keep reading to see how this unfolds.

Stand with Conviction

We live in a day when businesses are finding themselves needing to take social and moral stands in order to attract new customers.  Have you noticed that?  Used to be, companies and businesses focused on business.  If they wanted to convince people to spend their money with them instead of with a competitor, they worked really hard to plant the idea in our minds that they were the very best at what they did.  Their product was better than anybody else’s.  They were going to take care of their customers better than anybody else would.  They were the best…at their business.  Today, though, as being socially conscious has gotten more and more popular, many businesses are worrying less about talking about how great their products are, and are instead spending more time telling us how socially conscious, or progressive, they are.  Commercials often double as political statements.  Some don’t talk about their products at all, they just take a stand on some social issue and assume that customers will be drawn to use their products on the basis of that social stance alone. Read the rest…

Be Ready to Stand

This week we begin a brand new series called Stand Up: How to Fight Injustice.  For the next six weeks and with the story of Esther as our guide, we are going to look at how as followers of Jesus we can stand effectively against injustice in the world around us.  Sometimes we’ll be called to do that in big, bold ways, but more often than not, our best chances will be small and seemingly insignificant.  But, if we don’t make them, injustice is given that much more space to flourish, so make them we must.  Stay tuned in the weeks ahead for how to do it.

 

Be Ready to Stand

Have you ever heard the word “serendipity” before?  I’m sure you have.  Better question: Do you know what it means?  You might know it was the title of a romantic comedy starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.  That doesn’t really answer the question, though.  Serendipity is a word used to describe a random, but fortunate turn of circumstances.  In other words, serendipity is when something good happens to you totally unexpectedly.  The idea is that the universe has contrived to bless you in some kind of a way without your realizing it.  Now, this is not a concept that connects with the Christian worldview at all.  As followers of Jesus, we believe that God is the giver of all good gifts, not some impersonal entity such as “the universe.”  But, many people don’t have a category for something like this happening because they don’t have the proper worldview framework and so they simply call it serendipity. Read the rest…