Matthew 25:36 “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me;” James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless, and widows in their affliction, and to keep self unspotted from the world”. Zechariah 7:9 “This what the Lord Almighty says, “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.”
The work of Christ is a work inside the heart and soul of an individual but it is not to remain there. An old portion of the wedding liturgy calls the ring the ‘outward sign of the inward emotion’ and that is exactly how the life of the Christian should function.
From the motives and desires of the Christ-like heart there should be a need to share God’s love and forgiveness with the world and those who have need to hear it. From the changed heart comes the desire to be the hands of Christ helping others. “Social Justice” is not merely a 20th century political action statement or buzz phrase. It is centuries old with the words of Zachariah that true justice in society was grounded in showing mercy and compassion.
Thus the Church – those who claim Jesus as their Lord – should be leaders in society and demonstrating the power of the people of God to positively impact their world in the name of Jesus. Instead, we too often allow government groups and social agencies to do the work of the church. Government should be able to assist citizens in time of need and emergencies/disasters but if each community saw people of faith doing “pure religion” - society would be better.