Justice is rightfully so, a big subject nowadays. It is called “social justice,” and indeed all justice has to do with society, with people in their relationships with each other.
We Christians, and perhaps in particular, we evangelical Christians seem to have a penchant for wanting to be “right.” Right on paper doesn’t mean that much though, in fact it means nothing if we don’t put into practice what we preach. Both orthodoxy as in right belief, and orthopraxy as in right practice are vital for us as followers of Jesus. But if push comes to shove, I’d much rather be a part of a group that emphasized practice, even if not making enough out of doctrine. We do need both, but I’ll take right practice every time, over supposedly getting everything right, which is not possible.
Micah 6:8 might help us here:
8 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.
We are told that we’re to act justly. And to love mercy. These must be joined: justice and mercy. Of course we see the epitome, indeed the climax of that at the cross of our Lord Jesus. Justice and mercy are joined there. Where mercy is absent, there is indeed no justice. Not the justice that God brings in shalom, and that is fulfilled in the kingdom come in Jesus.
And lastly we’re told that we’re to walk humbly with our God. We need God in the equation for justice. To help us make just and right decisions. And simply because justice is not only with reference to God’s law, will, instruction given. It is from and through God himself. God is Judge and King. In a way that brings salvation, no less. Sorting out what we can never sort out in and of ourselves.
This calling to what is good is fulfilled in Jesus, and begins to be worked out in the lives of all followers of Jesus. It is a justice that is first and foremost about love. And a love that is grounded in truth. About loving God and our neighbor through Jesus. Together, and for the world.