Continued from February 4th post, Justice: An Everyday Choice.
A few weeks before the justice ministry fair, I attended the nationwide Justice Conference for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to hear speakers who reframed justice as right relationship.
“At the heart, it’s not enough to set all slaves free,” N.T. Wright said. “Paul goes for something bigger: reconciliation between men.”
He went on to say, “Justice is what love looks like when it faces the problems its neighbors are facing.” Love neighbors.
Bryan Stevenson, a renowned lawyer seeking just treatment for all, agreed when he said, “Proximity is necessary for justice.” Show impartiality.
Sami Awad, a Palestinian actively seeking peace in the Holy Land, reframed justice as “not about ending war, but about inviting to the table of God’s kingdom.” Share power.
Rich Stearns, president of World Vision, addressed my cynicism when he said, “Justice is not just about causes. It’s about something much bigger. It’s about the charge Jesus left His people with: to bring His kingdom here on earth…The man who walked by Lazarus might have been going to do something great for a cause for all we know.” Have mercy.
And Eugene Cho opened with the prayer, “May we not be just enamored with justice. May we be in love with You, Lord.” May we be faithful.
Eugene Cho went on to say justice is “the flourishing of creation.” It is the way God originally intended the earth to be.
“I wonder if a meal shared with our enemies would make momentous strides in establishing justice,” he mused aloud. Walk humbly.
Some speakers even portrayed God, rather than men and women, as the hero of justice. In Bethany Hoang’s words, Director of IJM’s Institute for Biblical Justice: “Justice begins in the heart of God.”
Justice isn’t our idea – it’s God’s idea. It’s how He restores the world to His original intentions. And He’s not likely to work that out according to our plans.
He will establish justice though, and He asks us to be part of that great work.
So act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.1
1. Micah 6:8.