Springfield Pastor, Dr. Ruby led the effort. As he rightly stated, nobody is suggesting that lenders should not make profits. At a certain point, it becomes immoral.
You can watch and pray along with us here,
In closing, we prayed the Scriptures from Mark 14 and Micah 6.
Mark 14: 7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
Micah 6: 5-8 For if you offered him thousands of rams and ten thousands of rivers of olive oil—would that please him? Would he be satisfied? If you sacrificed your oldest child, would that make him glad? Then would he forgive your sins? Of course not! . . . 8 No, he has told you what he wants, and this is all it is: to be fair, just, merciful, and to walk humbly with your God. (TLB)
Awesome is our God who continues to welcome us into a deeper relationship with Him, our Maker.
Father, we thank you because it is only by your grace that we have gathered and sought your face, your will, and your purpose for your people at such a time as this.
Lord, we know that when you stated in Mark 14 that the poor will always be with us, you never meant that as an endorsement for your people to be negligent of the poor. In many ways, we have continued to misconstrue your injunction as a tacit acceptance of poverty in our midst. Worse still, some of us have taken it as a liberty to further oppress the poor.
On the contrary, we know Lord, that You repeatedly ask us to take care of the least among us: widows, strangers, aliens and in fact those who are experiencing the challenges of life that are common to humanity. Our faith calls us to be good neighbors to all.
We prayerfully ask you for forgiveness for doing the very thing you persistently cautioned us against.
We ask you for forgiveness for castigating the very least among us as lazy.
We ask you for forgiveness for laying even more heavy burdens on the backs of those going through financial difficulties.
Scripture tells us also to pray for those in authority. That’s what we have done here today, asking you to influence them to take the actions that Micah, the Prophet calls them to.
Father, You are not pleased by our self-serving acts of charity while simultaneously oppressing the least among us. The Prophet Micah admonished us when he asks. “Would God be pleased and impressed by our acts of charity and sacrifice, with our “thousands of rams and ten thousand barrels or rivers of olive oil”? The Prophet answers the rhetorical question with a No.
Indeed he [Prophet Micah] cautions us that merely giving to the poor, merely being charitable however sacrificial our giving seems to us, does not compare to doing the right and just thing. Always. Our obedience is preferred over our sacrifices. In this instance, God is calling us to be just to the poor.
Prophet Micah calls us all today, with the legislators and those with the power and opportunity to effect justice for the poor, to do so now.
What do we believers stand for, then as at now? Again, in the words of Prophet Micah, we call for and expect fairness, justice, and mercy for the least among us.
Lord, Give us the hearts and minds to be obedient and answer that call with expedient action today, Amen. Rosaire Ifedi, June 14th, 2017