And JUSTICE for all!

Often I find myself getting caught up in the day to day activities and events of life. Making sure that my to-do list has a few checks and not transferred on to the next day. There is the daily routine of writing services, sermons, letters and staying connected with our members. And then. . . I am hit with the reality that no matter how much I could find to whine about, I live in privilege. Someone stops by who desperately needs a prescription filled; someone who is living in their car, has run out of gas; someone who is 9 months pregnant is living on the streets in the cold at a wind chill of -50, and then a homeless man who had a known heart condition, loses his life outside on the coldest night of this winter. 

In the week ahead, we will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., who did fight tirelessly for justice. I ask myself, “What is JUSTICE for all?” What do we need to do to make sure ALL of God’s children, OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, are cared for with JUSTICE? How do we make sure that people have access to housing, or food, or shelter, or healthcare? Martin Luther King, Jr. states that it requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle. I admire people who make working for justice their life work. When working for justice, change is so slow, and struggle seems to have few rewards. But then something happens and people come together from different walks of life to work together. And for a moment, no matter how short that moment is, we see hope and are re-energized. 

Last week, a homeless man died. There is dispute as to whether the cold weather caused the death, but it certainly didn’t help that he had a heart condition and needed to walk to a different shelter in the cold temperature.  But, in the midst of that tragedy, many people worked tirelessly all day on Tuesday to make sure transportation was available between shelters. There was a glimmer of hope that people could and indeed did, work together to provide justice.

Is providing transportation between shelters really justice? According to Webster, it is the quality of being just, impartial, or fair; the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action; conformity to this principle or idea: righteousness. As Christians, righteousness should have a familiar ring. Yes, providing transportation to someone who doesn’t have access to transportation is justice. How do we make sure ALL people are given a fair opportunity to live full and productive lives?

In the Noth-Hazen house, we have to work on treating people with respect. When we hurt someone, it’s not enough to say, “I’m sorry.” The only way we can be truly sorry is to correct the behavior that caused the problem to begin with. It’s not enough for us to say, “I’m sorry” to the family of the man who died. We must work tirelessly to correct the situation that allowed him to be homeless and left in a cold world. This is our call, a call to justice. In this church, there are many passionate and dedicated individuals. Thanks be to God, we CAN do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God!


“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah 6:6-8



Posted on January 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm in Featured.

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