Scripture: Zechariah 7:8-10
Set Up Worship Centers
These can be set up in four different rooms or adapted into one space with four tables for the activities. Place a white tablecloth over each table with the items specified for each activity. Play music of your choice as women go from one table to the other.
Table 1: Care for the Poor
Place an empty basket on the table. Ahead of time, ask the women to bring canned goods to be placed in the basket. These items will be added to the food pantry. Access Pinterest for ideas for prayers for the poor and place these on the table in addition to the basket.
Table 2: Care for the Homeless
Lay out supplies for making blessing bags for the homeless. As women are packing these, ask them to pray for the homeless in your community. Here’s a link with ideas:
Table 3: Care for the Refugees
On the table place snacks representative of countries where there is a large refugee population. This could be your refreshment table for the program. Have the women taste the snacks and pray for those countries/refugees. Place a prayer card with information regarding the countries of the refugees.
Table 4: Care for those Trafficked
Have supplies for making bags with personal care products for those being trafficked. Place focused prayer cards for victims of human trafficking and programs assisting them, including resources available and sites where women can donate to assist The Salvation Army programs ministering to this population. Below is the website for The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission that has many other ideas of how we can become Justice Ambassadors.
Be An Ambassador
An ambassador is an authorized representative or messenger. If we are followers of Christ, we are called to be ambassadors for Him. We are Christ’s representatives to the world. Zechariah 7:8–10 speaks of what we are to do to be ambassadors for justice: “And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’”
As Justice Ambassadors, we are to administer true justice. Sometimes the word “justice” gets confusing. Justice isn’t about legalism. It’s about doing what it right, not in our eyes, but in the eyes of the Lord. Justice is relational. Justice isn’t so much about rules and regulations, and it’s not about getting even with someone for something done to us. Justice is about a person or people’s dignity, how they flourish in this world, and about the sacredness of life in all aspects of living.
The justice spoken in this scripture isn’t about what happens in a courtroom, but what is in our hearts. The source of this justice is God’s perfect righteousness, perfect justice, and His radical love. This is how we are called to live our lives. Zechariah also echoes the words of Malachi 6: 8. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
As Justice Ambassadors, we are called to action. We are, as the words in Zechariah says, to show mercy, not just to speak of mercy. Sometimes showing mercy is not an easy thing to do. And the only way that we can do this is through the words from Malachi 6:8: “To walk humbly with your God.” When we walk “humbly with our God,” it becomes about the other person, not about our own desires and thoughts. You may ask, how do we do this? It’s about showing compassion. Song #626 in The Salvation Army Song Book speaks of the how to accomplish this. It tells us that we must be moved with compassion. As you read these words, present your heart before the Lord to help you grow in showing mercy and compassion. That’s a good beginning for our journeys as Ambassadors of His justice.
The Savior of men came to seek and to save
The souls who were lost to the good;
His Spirit was moved
For the world which He loved
With the boundless compassion of God.
And still there are fields where the laborers are few,
And still there are souls without bread,
And still eyes that weep where the darkness is deep,
And still straying sheep to be led.
O is not the Christ ‘midst the crowd of today
Whose questioning cries do not seek?
And will He not show
To the hearts that would know
The things that belong to their peace?
But how shall they hear if the preacher forbear
Or lack in compassionate zeal?
Or how shall hearts move
With the Master’s own love,
Without His anointing and seal.
It is not with might to establish the right,
Nor yet with the wise to give rest;
The mind cannot show
What the heart longs to know
Nor comfort a people distressed.
O Savior of men, touch my spirit again,
And grant that Thy servant may be.
Intense every day, as I labor and pray,
Both instant and constant for Thee.
Except I am moved with compassion,
How dwelleth Thy Spirit in me?
In word and in deed
Burning love is my need;
I know I can find this in Thee.
The Salvation Army Song Book