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Proximity, Racial Injustice, Mission, and the Incarnation

Last month I read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s a compelling read. If you want your notions of racial injustice, poverty, and the criminal justice system challenged, Stevenson will do it. 

He makes the case for proximity! 

If we’re going to genuinely address the current divisions, perceptions, and inequalities within our country, we have to get “proximate”—close—to the marginalized and people suffering injustice. When we’re not in close proximity, we never listen, understand, or develop a new narrative or new ways to engage.

“Our criminal justice system treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent.”

Bryan Stevenson


In the Christmas event… God became man, fully and fully, God and Man in Jesus. 


The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)

She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. (Luke 2:7)

It’s an understatement to say that in the incarnation, God came into close proximity with mankind!

Over the years, I’ve driven out of church parking lots across the country and read the sign: “Now entering the mission field.” Wonderful!

Here’s my understanding. As you leave the church today, you become proximate to the mission field. You live in it. Work in it. Play in it. Seize the opportunity.

As culture has shifted and “come to Christmas Eve worship at 11 PM,” no longer engages an interested mission field; most don’t know how to seize the opportunity with Word or deed, even while living and working in close proximity.

So would you:

  1. Share here in the comments your reflection on the birth of Christ.
  2. Invite a millennial to check out 1,000 Young Leaders or request more information for Not So Young Leaders when it becomes available in 2021. Both are fully online training to learn the essence of being in the mission field with Word and deed. 
  3. Check out Discipleship to Missional Community in February and Leadership Essentials in April. Email Raechel for more information.
  4. Give yourself or someone you love a gift of Just Mercy and share here in the comments what you think.
  5. Make a gift to PLI as you do your year end giving. Your gifts and so many others like yours have allowed PLI to not miss a beat in amplifying our efforts in 2020.

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