We are not called upon to do all the good that is possible, but only that which we can do. – Theodore Guerin, 20th century
Jesus never ran for office.
Jesus never endorsed a political candidate.
Jesus never voted.
Jesus never pledged allegiance to a flag, country, or ruler.
Throughout his life Jesus was notably absent from involving himself in the political systems of his day. And yet, at the same time, he was viewed by those intimately involved in those political systems as a grave threat. Why? Because of what he did do, which was to promote God’s agenda: helping the poor, comforting the oppressed, empowering the downtrodden, welcoming the foreigner, caring for the maligned, accepting the outcast, and providing hope, mercy, grace, healing, forgiveness, and sacrificial love to the world around him.
Jesus was intimately, intentionally, and deeply involved in the work of justice. So is the United Church of Christ. Motivated by the example was see in Jesus, the United Church of Christ has always sought to engage in the same activity. Jesus did not just give bread to the hungry and heal the sick, but also taught how we are all to care for and work for the improvement of life for all people: that is what it means to “love your neighbor”. In the same way the UCC both provides feeding and healthcare for people as well as engages in advocacy work to challenge our government to enact laws to improve the lives of people and to build a more just and caring nation.
Of course, in our nation, our government leaders listen to and respond to those who make the most noise and who speak to them most often. Therefore, part of what the UCC does, through the Justice and Peace Action Network, is mobilize grass-roots engagement in contacting our leaders in Washington to let them know our values which we encourage them to take into account as they govern. If you would like to learn more about the UCC Justice and Peace Action Network you can go to: ucc.org/justice to learn more. On that page you will also find a link that will allow you to sign-up to JOIN THE NETWORK. If you join, you will receive Weekly Legislative Alerts, a Monthly Newsletter, and other resources to help you learn about and share the important Justice Work of the UCC. When action is needed, you will be provided a simple, easy means to contact your leaders in Washington via email to register your support and thoughts about a particular issue.
This is one way you can become more proactively involved in following Jesus and in working to build a more just, compassionate, and loving world.
R. Steven Hudder
Pastor, Christ Congregational United Church of Christ
Palmetto Bay, Florida