Monday, August 30, 2010

Social Justice

Social Justice has been in the news lately. This is a stream of Christian spirituality that sees part (or all) of the Christian endeavor being to work for a just society. The spirit of this phrase is included in our Baptismal vows. The phrase, Social Justice, recognizes our interconnectedness. God is just and ultimately, God wants us to live in a just community since we are an extension of God's love. The Old Testament laws were, in part, an expression of this notion of justice. Justice and mercy are two sides of the same God "coin."


       He has showed you, O man, what is good.
       And what does the LORD require of you?
       To act justly and to love mercy
       and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8 NIV)


Martin Luther King, Jr. has been mentioned in current conversations and has been closely identified with Social Justice. Here is a quotation from a speech of his at Western Michigan University in 1963.


All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. John Donne caught it years ago and placed it in graphic terms. "No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of a Continent, a part of the main." He goes on toward the end to say "Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."


Today, see your interconnectedness with those around you, especially those you might overlook. How has God connected you? What might that mean for you?

No comments:

Post a Comment