To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. LJude 24-25
It is a sad reality that people who seek to do justice often do damage in the process. That makes sense, actually. You see, the thing about injustice is that it is, well, unjust. If the injustice is something that you are passionate about it will make you angry. And so, as we move to be people who live out our calling to justice we must be willing to step out, but we must also be committed to cultivating the character traits of Jesus and not of the world. In the previous weeks we have talked about the need to be balanced between tough mindedness and tender heartedness. We have show how Jesus calls us to be nonconformists in this world, but to do so as people transformed by his love. We must be good neighbors, people who rather than asking what will happen to us if we stop to help, but asking what will happen to the victim if we do not. We must be marked by active love that both forgives those who have wronged us and loves our enemies (because we realize that ultimately the problem of those that do evil is not that they are bad people, but rather that they are people who are blind to the goodness that Jesus brings, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Finally, last week we talked about living lives that are actively dependent upon God because of a deep knowledge that God is able.
Working for justice is difficult work: it goes against the tide of culture, we find ourselves in the minority opinion. It moves us to work in areas where it is easy to think that things never seem to change. But in the midst of this we live in the reality that God is good and that he is able to do anything. The comfort from these balanced realities gives us courage to move into the struggles where we seem alone, where all of our lives seem capricious. As people who seek to do justice, or for that matter to just survive in a broken world, we must cultivate an awareness, a posture where we are a-tuned and engaged with God’s Spirit to be sustained and encouraged. Because, ultimately this is about where we put our trust: Is it in our hands, or in the hands of God? As you lean into the answer to this question, you will learn and experience peace or anxiety depending upon which way you answer.
Where do you need to be reminded that God is able? Where is the place that you cannot see the way out, or the way through or the outcome? Justice? Your Life or lives of others close to you? Poverty, hunger, homelessness, slavery, cancer, sickness, broken relationships, money problems? The list goes on an on, but through each trial or challenge, God is able.
Peace, hope and love