In the Christmas carol, “O, Holy Night” there is a line that says, “The slave is our brother.” This month I am wearing a dress every day, as part of a movement called #Dressember in order to raise awareness for the fact there are more than 40 million slaves in the world today, which is more than at any other point in history. I am not ok with slavery in any form.
Recently I went to Israel & Palestine where I was immersed in their decades-long conflict by meeting Muslims, Jews, Palestinian Christians, etc. This trip is one that I can’t get out of my mind and that’s a good thing.
Here in the United States we have thousands of asylum seekers crossing our borders regularly. We have refugees who have been settled here by the United Nations and our government.
All of these people are created in God’s image and are created by Him. While it is easy to sit in our comfortable homes in the United States and have opinions about these issues, in my mind it comes down to the fact that every human being on earth is someone God created and loves as much as He loves me.
Now, I don’t even begin to pretend that this beloved Christmas song is Scripture, but I can’t help but wonder . . . what if I lived as if the slave is my brother?
If my brother were enslaved, what lengths would I go to rescue him? What lengths would I go to see healing in his life?
The line continues, “In His name, all oppression shall cease.”
Now, I get the fact that without Jesus we are slaves to sin and that He releases us from that bondage and oppression. It is highly likely that the author of this song had spiritual oppression in mind, but what if all oppression in the world ceased because of Jesus’ name? What if, as His followers, we did our part in stopping oppression and releasing other humans from slavery in our time?
In the United States we look back on our nation’s slave history with shame. There are still generational issues here in the United States as a result of this period in our nation’s history. Though the 1960s were a tumultuous time and, legislatively, all Americans were given equal rights under the Civil Rights Act, the reality is there are still race issues we are dealing with as a nation. We still have those in power and those who are being oppressed in a variety of ways.
What if, as followers of Jesus, we were working actively towards eliminating oppression at home and abroad, in the name of Jesus?
#Dressember: What does wearing a dress every day in the month of December have to do with the estimated 40 million slaves in the world today? Each December, the Dressember Foundation challenges people to wear a dress (or a tie) every day as a flag or a conversation starter about the issue of human trafficking in our world today. More than just starting a conversation, Dressember advocates raise money for Dressember’s 12 partners, including International Justice Mission and A21 to combat the issue of slavery worldwide.