Category Archives: Justice

Power and Justice

Living in the Spirit
June 10, 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:16-20 
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

Jesus proclaims in the scripture above that all authority in heaven and on earth is his. Where does that leave the power brokers in our world today? Where does that leave each of us? We are a nation enamored with power. A close friend, a former supervisor of mine, told of a wealthy local man who stormed into her office very angry upset that a relative of his was turned down for nursing care payments. He loomed over her demanding an explanation, which she gave him. His relative owned more resources than were allowed in the requirements for the program. The relative would have to liquidate the resources before the state could help her. He looked down into her eyes and said in a commanding voice, “Do you know who I am?” She replied “Yes, Mr._____ I do know who you are but you apparently do not know who I am.” and she gave him her name and reached out to shake his hand. Knocked off guard with a questioning look on his face, he turned and walked out of her office. I asked her what she would have said if he had asked who she was.  She just grinned. She was a child of God and thus she was committed to doing what was right and just and I am sure if he wanted to talk to her boss she would have arranged it.

Power is worthless if it is not of God. Power without justice is evil and will destroy itself from the inside out. The sad thing is it may destroy others it catches in its net.

Prayer: Lord, shield us from becoming driven by any power other than yours. Help us not only do justice but live justice. 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 America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

Reconciling Love

Epiphany
February 12, 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:21-37

‘Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.” But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be “Yes, Yes” or “No, No”; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
–Matthew 5:33-37

I am cynical about most things I read, hear, or watch these days and I do not like it. Why must I cross check even things that seem reasonable? I depend on source-trust, some totally, others with a recognition of their known biases. I appreciate editorials but only when labeled as such. I am even acquainted with propaganda, but the prevalence of fake news or perhaps the sheer availability of it is disturbing.

Source-trust built on experience demands we follower of Christ be very attentive to how we represent our faith. Not only what we say or write must pass the test of eventuality, but we also must live as the Christ we teach lived. At times, I do not recognize Christ in what I perceive to be the hate and in-hospitality of people who claim to be Christian. Is that what they think and feel about me in return? Are my actions and words construed as un-Christlike because they differ so from another’s points of view? How do we find reconciliation in such circumstances?

Finding wholeness in Christ is the only way we can find oneness as his disciples and justice for all God’s children.  Finding wholeness requires us to seek a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Christ, opening our beings to the fullness of his love. The beginning of faith is the acceptance of God’s unconditional redeeming love. It paves the way to oneness and justice.

Prayer: God of love, forgive me when I allow outside sources to shattered my relationship with you. Reconcile me to you enabling my reconciliation with all your children in the oneness of your love. 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 America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.