Read Scripture: Micah 6:6-8
Often, while scrolling through social media, I notice people within the Christian community mis-characterizing justice work, speaking against it. I find this baffling as themes of justice are deeply embedded in scripture. How did we get here? How on earth did a word like “justice” become triggering and controversial?
This issue is tremendously complex, but I’ll offer one explanation here. One issue involves our view of the injustices taking place in our society. Some view these injustices as issues we can’t personally resolve. Others may not feel responsible to find solutions if they don’t feel complicit in perpetuating those injustices. Systemic racism is a good example of this.
Our congregations are not on the same page about the reality of racism and how racism rears itself in our society. For those willing to tell the truth about racism in our society, they may not be on the same page about what the church’s response should be. Many see racism as a personal issue and not a systemic one. Seeking justice in places where systemic racism has ensued makes many uncomfortable because they don’t understand it and they don’t believe there is a need for it today. Some believe the untruth that we now live in a meritocracy, where all share the same privileges and opportunities to thrive in our society.
In verse 8 of Micah 6, the prophet calls us to actively engage in practices that promote fairness, equity, and righteousness in society. He encourages believers to stand against oppression, to challenge unjust systems, and to ensure that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. We are not honoring our call to continue in the work of the kingdom when we fail to act in such a way. Jesus called us to love our neighbors, which would include standing for our neighbors when they are not able to stand and speaking for our neighbors when society has stripped them of their voices.
Questions for Reflection
In your view, why is the concept of justice triggering? Why does this word make some people uncomfortable?
How could we help others to un-learn mischaracterizations of justice?
What would it take for more faith communities to finally pursue the work of justice?
Name the injustices that we experience in our society today. What would it look like for your community to be a source of healing and restoration?