Polarized sunglasses and justice
We've said that justice requires us to do something. We've said that anytime people who bear the image of God are mistreated, ignored, or oppressed, it is an injustice that must be made right. We've said that fighting for justice requires a partnership with God, the God of justice. Last week we landed on Loving Mercy. And now, this week, we're talking about the "what" and the "how" of justice.
Question of the Day: What stood out to you from week 1 and 2? Did anything change your understanding of justice?
Learning to love mercy
Let this be a reminder, God isn't motivated by a desire to punish us. God wants to see us transformed. God’s mercy has the power to cause that kind of transformation in our lives, then empower us to show that same mercy to others. When it comes to justice, God is calling us to love mercy.
Question of the Day: What is one situation you need to learn from so you can be better at loving mercy as God calls us to?
NOT Getting what we deserve...
Sometimes mercy is defined in contrast to grace, but most of the time mercy and grace go together. Some might say it like this: If grace is like "getting a gift we don't deserve," then mercy is "not getting what we do deserve"—that is, punishment for our sins.
By taking on our punishment for sin, Jesus displayed an act of great mercy, Jesus died on our behalf.
Because of Jesus, we did not get the punishment we deserved—that's mercy. Instead, we get the gift of eternal life that's grace.
Question of the Day:
How are you called to love mercy, to show mercy to others around you? Showing mercy to your sibling after they mess up? Showing mercy to a neighbor? Whatever the situation and whomever the person, how do you show mercy?
Sometimes people get attacked online for no reason at all. Those attacks are simply hateful. But sometimes people get attacked online because someone feels wronged by them and is looking for justice.
People might start hashtags, declare campaigns, or rally their friends to go after someone online because they believe they've done something wrong and must be punished.
There are countless stories of people who have received so much negative online backlash because of their bad behavior that they've lost their jobs or even had to change their names.
Now, justice (the subject of our current series) is about making wrong things right.
Usually, making wrong things right requires someone to be punished or held accountable for their actions. But can our desire to punish someone who has done wrong ever go too far? Is there another way? When we look at the internet and how it’s easy to attack or write people off, do we have mercy? Do we understand what mercy is?
We have to start this conversation by reminding ourselves that you, and I, and the people sitting beside us, the people we see on TV who we agree with or disagree with, we are all people made in the image of God. We are all God's masterpieces.
God uses us, not because we need good works, but because we are God’s creation! As part of God’s mission, we are commanded, over and over again, to fight to make wrong things right in the world. That's what we mean when we say "justice," making wrong things right!
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. God has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things God planned for us long ago.
One of the most well-known passages of Scripture on this subject is in the Old Testament book called Micah. Micah was a prophet of God who God sent to call out the unjust rulers of his day, fight for the victims of injustice, and rally God's people to fight for change.
6 What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
7 Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Do something for those who are God’s Masterpiece, that means everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, or their nationality, or their income. We are called to do something for everyone!
Question of the day: How are you doing what’s right, loving mercy and walking humbly?
What is this?
Weekly posts pertaining to the Confirmation Lessons for the week. A great way for families to have conversations of faith at home, on the road, or around a meal.