Listening to Josh’s sermon on Sunday, I was struck by one phrase in particular—restorative mishpat. Here’s how he described it:
“But there’s another kind of mishpat, and that’s restorative mishpat. And when we read through the Old Testament, nine times out of ten, what’s being spoken of is the restorative mishpat—restorative justice—making other people’s problems my problems. It’s looking out for the most vulnerable, for the most marginalized, most forgotten in this society.” (If you’d like to hear Josh’s full sermon, click HERE.)
There’s no doubt our God is a God of restoration. From the moment mankind’s decision in the Garden of Eden broke our world, God has been at work to restore all things. Last week we looked at how He restores us spiritually. This week, I’d like to focus on this idea of social restoration.
Because we live in a broken, sin-filled world, justice is no longer a given. Our world is filled with the vulnerable—groups who have no voice, no power, no protection. In the Bible, these people fall into one of four categories: the poor, the outsider, the widow, and the orphan. As followers of Christ, we are required to join with Him in protecting and fighting for the most vulnerable.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. [Micah 6:8]
God uses us to accomplish His mission of restoration.
A month ago, our church was involved in a Service Day to help people and organizations around Lincoln through various service opportunities. As our group worked to restore beauty to a facility that helps some of our city’s most vulnerable, I couldn’t help but think of the many stories of restoration that take place daily within its walls. Our small act of service that morning, was only a drop in the bucket compared to all that ministry accomplishes, but hopefully, our efforts helped make the facility welcoming to those who come to it in search of hope and a fresh start. We all can do our part no matter how small. Our city is blessed with a multitude of organizations where God is using His church to accomplish His mission of restoration.
Are you involved? Would you like to be? A great place to start would be to connect with our church’s outreach program on Facebook. Every few days, Megan Kuehl posts various opportunities that allow you to get involved locally. As true Christians, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring the needs of our fellow man. Let’s be about our Father’s business of restorative mishpat.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress . . . [James 1:27]