Paul’s Letter to a Slave Owner

Kelly Brace

Read: Philemon 1-25 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. (v. 17) Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave. He met Paul in prison and became a Christian. Paul came to trust and value him. Philemon was a trusted Christian who Paul believed would have an open mind to the idea of freeing Onesimus. But just in case Philemon needed a little extra nudge in that direction, Paul reminded him that he owed him one …

Chocolate

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 7:7-11 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (v. 8) Every time my family has a bonfire, my nephews and niece ask for s’mores. My mom always has graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate ready for them. Our family isn’t unusual. Unfortunately, most of us probably don’t realize that this common treat is tied to slavery. According to a Washington Post article “Cocoa’s Child Laborers,” …

Coffee and Tea

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 25:31-40 And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (v. 40) My husband loves coffee, especially iced Americanos. I enjoy tea more. I enjoy the ritual: choosing a nice Earl Gray, chai, or green tea, waiting for the water to boil, and adding milk, sugar, or lemon. When I make my tea, I also try to think …

Modern Slavery Around the World

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 5:13-16 You are the light of the world . . . Let your light shine before others. (vv. 14, 16 NLT) Now more than ever before, it is simple for human trafficking to occur because of the Internet. Sexual exploitation can be easily broadcast to viewers over the Internet. Victims can be lured through false relationships on social media. The good news is that people are starting to talk about it. What started as a few voices has …

Child Labor

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 18:1-6 But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to . . . be drowned in the depths of the sea. (v. 6 NLT) Child labor is any form of enslavement of a child—domestic servitude, forced marriage, forced labor, bonded labor, or sex trafficking. It’s hard to imagine anything more heartbreaking than innocent children, who aren’t able to fully comprehend what is happening …

Forced into Marriage

Kelly Brace

Read: Genesis 16:1-16 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her. (v. 6) Forced marriage is when women or young girls are forced to marry against their will or without their consent. It’s more common in some places than others, but it happens everywhere in the world, and it’s been happening for a long, long time. Hagar was a …