I, along with some colleagues have been working toward writing a book to help Christians learn to work with people groups that they may not agree with in regards to life choices, values, and politics. The book is also meant to serve as a hand reaching out to the American culture at large, so as to say; We love people and though we may not agree with you, we still want to live in relationship and be a help to you when you are down, hurting, and oppressed. What is often lost on both followers of Christ and those who deny His deity is the empathetic life he lived in regards to the poor. The following is a small portion to the books first chapter and is fresh from my brain:
” Jesus Himself was born to a poor teenage girl and a day laborer from a town of which is was said “Can anything good come out of Nazareth”? His country was overrun by Roman soldiers, the government run by dictators willing to kill a whole generation of boys two and under in the hopes of killing Him (Matthew 2:16-18), and later the government would crucify him despite his innocence (Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19). Jesus knew what it was to suffer, to be denied freedoms, lack opportunities, and ultimately to be wrongly convicted. He knew as well as anyone the need for social justice and spiritual renewal.”
Spiritual renewal is indeed needed not for the sake of spirituality but for the sake of relationship with Christ. Relationship with Christ grows love for and care of the poor, downtrodden, and oppressed. Love for the poor and love for Christ is inseparable. To take care of the poor, the oppressed, and downtrodden is to live as Christ, it is become more and more in His image.