The world is full of injustices. They have violated the vulnerable in every century and brought untold damage to the destitute. Injustice has the power to cross any border and exists like a disease that spreads to all societies.
If you have traveled a lot of this world, as I have, you know that it’s hard to not stare injustice in the face. When a government is corrupt to the bone, when poverty is rampant, when water is undrinkable and it’s drank anyway, when terrorism rips a country apart, when sex trafficking destroys human life, and when missionaries can’t share the gospel – these are all injustices that plague our world and really does affect all of us!
The need for justice and the gospel should weight heavy on all our hearts in the 21st century.
Let me share with you an amazing woman – Charlotte Digges ,or as the Chinese people knew her, Lottie Moon. She's the person whose life inspires our Christmas mission offering! She was a power missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention during the late 19th century. She was a mighty woman for God serving in China. She lived among the injustices that trapped a whole people group.
She was a true champion for the gospel because she knew that the gospel was the only cure for the generational injustices that keep people in religious and cultural slavery year after year. She was known to write challenging letters asking SBC churches to courageously send aid to advance the gospel, and to compassionately give aid to those living under oppression. Her words still echo today when she declared, “The needs of these people press upon my soul, and I cannot be silent.”
Lottie was known for giving a voice for the voiceless.
Lottie went to China to teach women and school-aged girls. It wasn’t long before she collided with the injustices in the Chinese culture, specifically the ancient practice of foot-binding. The custom involved bending a young girl’s toes downward until her foot doubled and binding them tightly until they broke. The tighter the better.
The Chinese culture at that time believed that the agonizing pain resulting in a deformed, three-inch foot, attracted a better husband and a greater social status. Lottie wrote, “To a groom, it is much more important for her to have small feet than a pretty face.”
She also wrote in a letter to a friend, “Has the time come and are we strong enough to make a decided stand on the question of foot-binding? Shall we make it a rule that all who come in (to school) shall unbind their feet?”
For forty years, she lived among the people and she brought the gospel of Christ to the people’s poverty, disease, war, famine, superstition and religion until she died on Christmas Eve in 1912.
It’s important to remember that righting the world’s terrible wrongs and massive injustices is best achieved by the work of Christ’s redemptive power. King David benefited from this truth in his inspired words, “God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:5). Every injustice we face in this world can be uprooted when we share the story of Christmas as God’s love for the world and as seen through the eyes of our Savior on the cross.
Lottie loved the Chinese people, and they loved her. After her death, her Chinese friends carved in Chinese letters on a plaque at her burial place, “Lottie Moon – how she loved us.” What a powerful testimony of her living for Christ and His gospel!
And we have the honor to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering this month! Let’s give so we can help our missionaries relieve the injustices that they confront every day! I leave you with these incredible words of Lottie Moon, “Injustice binds, the gospel sets free, and we must relentlessly minister in the tension between the two.”
Pressing on together,