Greetings again and obviously, I’m still wrapped up in the “Justice of these times” together. I’ve been challenging myself this last week with one particular question:
Praying shaping believing
In other words does our repeated praying about justice really shape what we, as Episcopalians believe about justice? Or are we really far more like the rest of the world around us on the subject of justice—as likely to have our understanding of justice shaped by the news, the attitudes of our friends, or our personal experience of life? How does our praying shape what we believe about justice? And how do our beliefs about justice shape what we pray for, or against—or whom we pray for, and why?
Justice is an integral part of what we mean by “Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world.” It is essential to the Church’s mission to “restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ”…as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love.
Finally, if this is what justice is supposed to be about, then it definitely is not about revenge, retribution, “giving people what they’re due,” humiliation, or vengeance on those who we believe have fallen short of God’s desire for them. Justice in both the Old and New Testaments must be distinguished clearly from either the quest of righteousness or for judgment against sinners. Time and again in the Bible the standards by which God measures justice turn out to be contrary to what the world would do given its own standards of righteousness and judgment.
Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day across our nation. At Trinity Grove where I serve as a chaplain we came together, in part, by naming those who gave their lives in service to these United States, some, paying what is named as ‘the ultimate sacrifice’. We also recognized the ‘survivors’ among us; while others celebrated Memorial Day with those freedoms so sacrificially provided by:
• Refusing to wear a mask to protect another and/or coughing on another
• Hanging in effigy the governor of Kentucky
• Refusing to socially distance to protect another
• Creating and spreading false information about COVID-19
May God continue to guide and support our praying to shape our believing.
In the name of Love, Nancy+