Lent Week 3: The One Who Offers Hope & Justice

Written by: Daria Roesch

Daria Roesch is a long-time Set Free Leader. She is the Associate Pastor at the Edgewood church in Rochester, New York. 

Psalm 146,

6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
    and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
    the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

 

Praise the Lord! 

 

The psalm begins with two verses of praise, including a lifelong commitment to praise God. It moves from there to an admonition not to trust in human beings. They cannot save as God does. Then the psalm tells us that those who trust in God are blessed. He is the great Creator! The psalmist describes God’s goodness. He cares for those considered the least (Matt. 25:40): the oppressed, the hungry, the prisoner, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow. The wicked will not prevail and God reigns forever! The psalm starts with praise, acknowledges human limitation, extols the Lord’s virtues, and ends in praise.

Lent is a time of lament and a time to renew our commitment to impact situations that cause us to lament—injustices committed against those most vulnerable. Those who are hungry, fatherless, homeless are most vulnerable to being trafficked. 

The psalm reminds us that we cannot save them, only the Lord can. However, we can be His willing instruments to carry out His work on earth. We can pray for those on the frontlines, support them, and do everything in our power to love and care for the least. 

Food insecurity is a serious concern, even in America. People become vulnerable to traffickers when they are desperate to feed their children. A simple way to have an impact in this area is to donate generously to a food cupboard. 

The theme of justice for the oppressed is found throughout the Old and New Testaments. Jesus came to bring justice for the same people listed in this psalm (Luke 4:18-19). He calls us to join him in his ministry. Let us be faithful to answer that call.

 

Prayer:

Our Father in Heaven, help us to join Jesus in bringing your justice here and now. Remind us to care for the “least of these” and to share generously from our own abundance. Strengthen and equip those who minister on the front lines of human trafficking. We praise you because you are the God who saves! Amen.

 

Reflection Questions:

  1. Are we trusting that God is at work to save his fallen creation? Have we recognized the value that he places on all of humanity?
  2. Are we remembering to praise him as “the Maker of heaven and earth” and the one who “remains faithful forever”?
  3. What can we give to bring justice to the vulnerable?

How can we respond this Lent season? 

  • Give instead of Giving Up: 

What if instead of giving something up for lent you gave something. What if you gave just $2 a day through the season of lent to help expand the work in Kenya to help keep girls in school through the Wunders program? You can invest here today. 

  • Reflect with journal prompts: 

For additional ways to grow and reflect during this Lenten series, follow us on social media for journal prompts.

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