And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he [John the Baptist] said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
Reflection: As Lutherans we are fortunate to have Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to advocate for people living in poverty all over the world. One of LWR’s missions is: Work for Peace and Justice. God’s will is justice, reconciliation and peace for all people. We advocate with those in need, speaking truth to those in power. We work with poor and powerless communities to challenge not only the consequences of poverty and oppression but also the causes.
When I became involved with LWR’s fair trade coffee project several years ago it increased my awareness of consumerism and my Christian faith. How are our daily habits, lifestyle and shopping choices impacted by our faith? I was overwhelmed by the issues to consider. Fair wages, workplace safety, environmental responsibility; there is much to think about.
One thing I take pleasure in is my “morning cup of justice.” The fair trade coffee movement provides a market for small farmers in remote areas. They receive a fair price for their products by avoiding opportunistic middle men. This helps lift families out of poverty and keeps their children in school.
Prayer: Lord, we are grateful for our plentiful and comfortable lives. Please guide us to make choices that have a positive impact on others.