The people who make our shoes and clothes and TVs are the poor and oppressed and Jesus is on their side and we are to be to – bringing (at the very least) partial freedom with the good news of coming freedom.
[This is a slightly truncated outline of last Sunday’s youth fellowship Wear It Out theme continuation.]
Lift the label game
Take off shoes and jumpers / Look and labels on your clothes and find out where they were made / The team with the most wins
Are you surprised where your clothes came from? / Which countries were lots of your clothes made in? / Why do you think they were made there? / Where did you buy your clothes from?
£33 billion spent on clothes last year in the UK. Your stuff is made all around the world. They’re made there because it is seriously cheap. Companies go looking for these prices because it makes profit that much easier to come by.
How do you think your clothes are made?
Hands from all over the world have put together your clothes. Stitching seams, piercing holes, glues shoes.
Let’s watch a video to see a bit of how this happens and the conditions it happens in.
What struck you about that clip? What surprised you about the working conditions for the people who make our clothes?
Mark: King & God’ Kingdom | Luke: Jesus’ first words in public in Luke are in 4:16-21 and Luke helps us see that this is a God’s Kingdom thing in 4:43-44
Compare v43-44 and v16-21. What words and phrases and places are the same? ‘Good news’, ‘sent’, ‘synagogue’.
God’s Kingdom is about this helping, freeing, caring for others sort of stuff and it might be that Jesus went around saying something like what he said in Nazareth in each town, doing the healing and exorcisms etc. that shown it to be true.
Big OT connections here to passages were God is absolutely, totally, always on the side of the poor and oppressed and so on (Isa. 58 and 61).
Jesus is doing the exact same thing. Taking up the cause of the poor and oppressed in Galilee.
Galilee was home to the poor and oppressed, Romans and Jewish Kings living it up.
Galileans had little. They were forgotten and struggling to survive. Jesus becomes a voice for them, saying God is on their side. Jesus regularly shouts down the rich and wealthy: Lk 6:17/16:19/18:18(-28ff -> Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-37).
Jesus even gets his disciples to do the exact same thing as him in 9:1-2. They are to say and do the same stuff as he does.
After his resurrection in Acts 1:(3+)8, when we see that Jesus is the truly the king of God’s Kingdom and that it stands above any other way of doing things, he tells his disciples to be his witnesses, showing and talking about what he was all about (i.e. the poor and oppressed and so on).
That involves us. We are to be all about that.
The story of Jesus, which we tell and make happen, is that God’s Kingdom, which Jesus brought, is happening and will arrive fully when Jesus returns.
We live that story, which declares good news for the poor and freedom for the oppressed and so on, and we help make it so. The job is ours so we make it happen and we do it faithfully, not necessarily effectively, because the job is also hard.