Your hands are stained with crime —
Wash yourselves clean;
Put your evil doings
Away from my sight.
Cease to do evil;
Learn to do good.
Devote yourself to justice;
Aid the wronged.
Uphold the rights of the orphan;
Defend the cause of the widow.
This time through the bible I have been keenly aware of its call to justice. Time and time again the biblical narrative calls us to it through its constant reminder to the people of Israel that one of their primary tasks was to be about justice in the world.
I wonder why we struggle with this as God’s people?
In today’s extremely polarized political landscape justice has been given a bad name. “Social justice” Christians (really an oxymoron) have been demonized by some as not Christian at all.
Even a casual read through the biblical narrative tells us that justice matters to God, that fair treatment of the least, last, and marginalized is of utmost importance to the God of the covenant. That if we are the people of the covenant we are to be about justice in the world.
Today justice is needed in our world, in our nation. Are we going to be about justice? Are going to openly challenge the structures and actions of injustice in our world?
I’ll have to admit that seeking justice is difficult and at times I rather ignore it, especially when it does not affect me or those that I love. But I’ll have to say that I am growing deeply convicted at he plight of many in our nation who continue to be treated unequally, are not fairly treated, and in the name of religion are consistently discriminated against.
In a nation where freedom is a principal value, and where prosperity abounds may those of us who claim to be children whose story is found in the biblical narrative find the courage to stand alongside those who need it most. May we speak it loud and clear and be willing to shoulder the consequences. May our baptismal call be the catalyst for our work in transforming society in the name of Jesus the Christ.
May it be so in me . . . may it be so in the church!