The Art of Doing Justice

mlk-justice-and-righteousness-word-artLiving in the Spirit
August 9, 2016

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
   is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
   are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
   but saw bloodshed;
   but heard a cry! –Isaiah 5:7

As a part of our covenant with God, God expects justice and righteousness. The two words share common root meanings. Justice relates to being fair and most often is used in finding the balance in a dispute regarding what is fair. Righteousness means being in synch with God, a part of which is living out God’s understanding of fairness. As a society, the USA commits to a system of justice protected by a check and balance system of three interdependent but separate branches of governance; Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Our country is caught in a great struggle to determine what is just because we do not agree on what is right. The result is ennui, gridlock where there is no willingness even to consider seeking justice, identifying and implementing what is fair. I do not know what happened first our religious differences spilling over into our governmental differences or our governmental differences spilling over into our religious differences.

I do know that people of faith to be faithful need to move away from gridlock and find the areas for which we can find common ground lifting us out of the muck and mire of ennui. The early Christian church provides a model. When Paul traveled to Jerusalem to deal with contentious issues of their time, they seemed to stalemate regarding whether gentiles had to be circumcised and whether they should eat meat sold in the market that was offered to idols. What they did agree on was the need to help the poor, and that is what they implemented. We could learn from these ancestors in faith.

Prayer: Lord, help us find representatives who are willing to find ways of working together that will reflect progress toward the world as you envision it. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights