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1 John 3:4-8, Children of God

Tuesday, July 3

Systemic Abuse

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.


The author of 1 John was writing at a time and to a people who were systematizing sin. Their class structure, their laws, rites, and rituals served to lift some up at the expense of others. And it was all happening legally and with political and religious encouragement. Jesus came to stop all that. Jesus came to change the system. He fought to stop the oppression of the poor, widowed, and ostracized.

We are still living in a complicated system. On one hand, we have learned so much from past mistakes. We have systems developed to lift up the lowly, to heal the ill and injured, and to eliminate castes. At the same time, we still have a class system where 1% of the world's population owns half the world's wealth. And we have systems that are designed to keep people down. We see racism, bigotry, and chauvinism. We turn away families seeking asylum from abhorrent conditions. 

I truly believe if Jesus came today he would fight the same battles. What could we do to turn around the tide of systemic abuses?

Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 John 3:4-8

Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

Earlier Event: July 2
1 John 2:29-3:3, Children of God
Later Event: July 4
1 John 3:9-10, Children of God