JUSTICE

Justice, Justice, Justice shalt thou pursue.
— Deuteronomy 16:8
Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law; this is our great covenant: to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.
— James Vila Blake, 1894
Service is the rent you pay for living on earth.
— Rev. Lois E. Van Leer

Everything I know about justice I learned in church. From the sermons to youth group to a pancake breakfast with Caesar Chavez. There were two models given me in my home church: the radical person of Jesus and the members of the church. I learned that Jesus turned the social, political, and religious order of his time on its head. Those who followed him did the same. As he had, they stood with the marginalized and oppressed, insisting on their full humanity. If you took him seriously, you had your work cut out for you. That is the context of church that I was raised in.

 

Research shows that those who stay the course in social justice work rather than burning out from righteous anger or despair, have a religious grounding. That is why I link faith formation, worship, and social action together. Faith formation makes us aware of the brokenness of creation. Worship gives us bread for the journey of tikkun olam (repairing the world), and justice work is our faith put into action. As Cornell West has said, "Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” Our work for justice must be rooted in Compassion and Love.

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