In his book, Simply Christian, N.T. Wright (2006) speaks of the times in life when things just “make sense”. The kind of making sense that happens when we “glimpse a whole new world…stand[ing] in awe in front of a great painting, or…swept off our feet by a song or a symphony”. Wright claims that “when things make sense in that way, you are left knowing that it isn’t so much a matter of you figuring it all out and deciding to take a step, or a stand. It’s a matter of Someone calling you, calling with a voice you dimly recognize, calling with a message that is simultaneously an invitation of love and a summons to obedience”.
“The call to faith is both of these. It is the call to believe that the true God, the world’s creator, has loved the whole world so much, you and me included, that he has come himself in the person of his Son and has died and risen again to exhaust the power of evil and create a new world in which everything will be put to rights and joy will replace sorrow”. Our Social Justice 12 initiative to put together care packages for men and women seeking refuge at the New Life Center, our grade 4 visits to the elderly at Laurier Manor, and our partnership with Jericho Ministries in Honduras are ways we seek to be obedient to the call of Christ to put things to rights and replace sorrow with joy.
“From the very beginning, in Jesus’s own teaching, it has been clear that people who are called to be agents of God’s healing love, putting the world to rights, are called also to be people whose own lives are put to rights by the same healing love. God intends to put the world to rights; he has dramatically launched this project through Jesus. Those who belong to Jesus are called, here and now, in the power of the Spirit, to be agents of that putting-to-rights purpose”. In short, we are called to be Justice-Seekers.
In our classes, in our churches, in our families, we are called to seek justice – living out the breaking-in reality of God’s kingdom in which “a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man [Messiah] will sit on it – one from the house of David – one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness” (Isaiah 16: 5). May the following prayer (adapted from Steenwyk and Witvliet, 2013), used this month in our high school Tuesday morning gatherings, be our community prayer:
God of love and justice, we long for peace within and peace without.
We long for harmony in our families,
For shalom in the midst of struggles here and across the seas.
We long for the day when our communities will be a dwelling place for Your love.
Yet we confess that we are often anxious,
we do not trust each other, and we harbor violence.
The prophet Micah has declared:
He has shown you, O mortal, 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.
In a broken and fearful world, Lord and Savior give us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to take risks and make sacrifices that love requires,
to unmask idolatries in school, church, and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace. Amen.
Wright, N. (2006). Simply Christian: Why Christianity makes sense. San Francisco, Calif.: HarperSanFrancisco. Steenwyk, C., & Witvliet, J. (2013). The worship sourcebook (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids: MI: Faith Alive Christian Resources.