Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,
As I write this eNote to our faithful and devoted community of radical and contextually conscious followers of Jesus Christ, we are on the verge of celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Regardless of how you chose to celebrate the King holiday, spend some time reflecting, remembering and renewing the idea of the beloved community.
Dr. King was a justice seeker, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And prior to Dr. King, the Prophet Amos offered these words in the Old Testament “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24 NRSV Justice is a frequent theme in the Bible.
Amos’ words about justice spoke to Israel’s failure to embody God’s concerns for the wellbeing of all people in Israel. Amos calls for turning back to God and away from the injustices that favored the wealthy powerful elite over the vulnerable poor. This turning back involved a recovery of genuine justice as the community stands for life for everyone. The call to justice went out as a call to avoid judgment; justice was not the judgment but the way to avoid it.
Dr. King sought justice for all of humanity in a time when segregation was legal and practiced. After years of the commitment to non-violence and the deaths of many innocent people, the courts finally changed the law. And the law was changed, but the discriminatory acts were still pervasive and some still exist today. Look at the way we treat people, all of God’s people, as less than human by unjustly imprisoning people, denying healthcare to some people, the resegregation of public schools, and racial segregation. Justice often seems to be eluding God’s people.
For our society, sometimes “justice” involves locking people up under horrific conditions and essentially condemning them to a life sentence of shame and alienation. In contrast, for Jesus, genuine justice involves visiting prisoners—displaying welcome, hospitality, and healing.
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus put justice in this perspective, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.” Matthew 23:23 NRSV
Jesus’ acts of justice involve not only healing the hurting but also confronting those who have been doing the hurting. The powers-that-be retaliate. The religious and political leaders do have a kind of justice on their side—justice in the sense of the self-interests of people in power and their laws and policies that act to sustain their power. Jesus did violate this kind of “justice” and so retribution by the powers-that-be followed.
Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Jesus wants justice for all now!”
Remember to pray The Lord’s Prayer every day at 12 Noon!
As always, remember, God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!