I know this is driving some people crazy, either who didn’t object to the election result, or who think its time to move on and learn to live with it. Others of us are not ready for that yet and still need time to mourn and to share how we feel with God. Please feel free not to read on if you aren’t in that place.
There are two scripture passages below that have been speaking to me about the Gospel imperative for social justice and this first one I find very powerful in the Message version. Below the passages is a lament that someone wrote at our gathering last night. Of course seeing the Gospel, and indeed the whole Bible, as a narrative of God’s concern for justice has political implications, and that is a lens I see through.
We are all seeing the Bible through lenses; of our culture, background, family view, education etc etc. It is impossible to get outside of that and all we can do is become aware of them over time and the influence they have on us, and be willing to converse and disagree well with others who see things from a diametrically opposed position. For me, the Gospel is indeed very political, and therefore very challenging:
Micah 6:8-16 The Message
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.
9 Attention! God calls out to the city!
If you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen.
So listen, all of you!
This is serious business.
10-16 “Do you expect me to overlook obscene wealth
you’ve piled up by cheating and fraud?
Do you think I’ll tolerate shady deals
and shifty scheming?
I’m tired of the violent rich
bullying their way with bluffs and lies.
I’m fed up. Beginning now, you’re finished.
You’ll pay for your sins down to your last cent.
No matter how much you get, it will never be enough—
hollow stomachs, empty hearts.
No matter how hard you work, you’ll have nothing to show for it—
bankrupt lives, wasted souls.
You’ll plant grass
but never get a lawn.
You’ll make jelly
but never spread it on your bread.
You’ll press apples
but never drink the cider.
You have lived by the standards of your king, Omri,
the decadent lifestyle of the family of Ahab.
Because you’ve slavishly followed their fashions,
I’m forcing you into bankruptcy.
Your way of life will be laughed at, a tasteless joke.
Your lives will be derided as futile and fake.”
Mary’s Song Luke 1:46-55
46 And Mary said:“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
God of creation,
Look at the world you have made;
Is this your vision?
Why wars and suffering?
Why disease and hardship?
Be an intervening God.
Do not allow these bad things to happen again and again.
Millions and billions of people,
And millions and billions in money and resources;
Why are they not shared and used equally?
Show us Lord how to spread resources around.
Why do you allow injustice and inequality to spread?
Show yourself in all things earthly,
So that we can share your vision.
Let more people in power have a passion for all people.
Free politicians from the handcuffs of selfishness and greed
And show them how to legislate for a better world for all.
Then and only then Lord can we live in your perfect world as you intended.