Every person is worthy of respect, honor, and care. We fundamentally love all people not only because Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), but because they have been miraculously wonderfully created in God’s image. This was the foundational state of God’s creation. While sin would soon corrupt that image, the original state of mankind was not one of sin.
The only way for Kansas City to experience deep lasting change is for there to be a fundamental Holy Spirit-led change in the hearts of individuals. Transformational change in Kansas City is ultimately a matter of the heart.
The easy thing to do is to treat symptoms of the broader issues. It’s much tougher to do the personal, communal, societal soul work that these matters, matters near and dear to the heart of God, really require. Our prayer is that all of us will emerge from the current crisis better prepared to be agents of change in the spaces we occupy. Systemic problems demand systemic solutions.
While many in our culture speak of the need for justice, few comprehend the nature of justice. In this life, mercy means caring for people’s needs with Gospel-fueled compassion. Justice means standing for the oppressed that are unable to stand for themselves, speaking for those with no voice, fighting for those who have no strength, and caring for those unable to care for themselves. Justice is laboring for what is fair, what is right, what brings peace, and what visibly demonstrates respect for all people because all people have been created in the image of God. It is being advocates for those with less social power and less financial means. The gospel of Jesus Christ demands our head, our heart, and our hand. We need to know, empathize, and take action.