Tuesday, September 22
In the last few days, we have all either read or seen via television or the web the news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Ms. Ginsberg fought for gender equality, women’s interests, civil rights and liberties.
One of her famous quotes was “To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you, that’s what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself but for one’s community.”
Reading these articles made me think about social justice. Every Sunday, in the Prayers of the People we give thanks for the work that parishes do in their respective communities. While the term “social justice” is not found in the bible, the concept along with examples does. Jesus’s ministry is the biggest example. Throughout the gospels we read of how Jesus ministered to the sick, the poor, the foreigners and the outcasts.
Tim Dearborn writes in Reflections on Advocacy and Justice: “For Christians, the pursuit of social justice for the poor and oppressed is the decisive mark of being people who submit to the will and way of God.”
The above quote comes from a World Vision article from 2012 that I read. This article made many points that are as pertinent today as they were eight years ago. Some of these points are:
- As Christians, the building blocks of social justice lie in human dignity, human flourishing, and the sacredness of life.
- Every time we use our voice and influence to get in the way of injustice – whether it’s human trafficking, economic exploitation, human rights abuses or infants dying needlessly from disease and malnutrition – we provide a foretaste of God’s kingdom to come.
- Social justice is not an extracurricular or optional part of our faith but an imperative.
- Justice is, first and foremost, a relational term – people living in right relationship with God, one another and the natural creation.
In a devotion I read the other day it said that justice meant losing the “just us” mentality. As the World Vision article pointed out, if we are in a right relationship with God, others and creation, social justice should be a natural result from this relationship.
We all have our own thoughts on what social justice means. We all have our own charities that we support. I think it is wonderful that we have different thoughts and charities as this way we can accomplish many things. Micah 6:8 is a good benchmark to use to ensure that we are indeed on the right path to social justice:
The Lord God has told us what is right and what he demands: “See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God.”
(Contemporary English Version)
God, help us to serve you faithfully today, bringing justice in your world-
At home – in our communities – and beyond. Amen
(Prayer taken from “Today” devotional of September 19, 2020)