The Days are Surely Coming
The Prophet Jeremiah predicted a day when a new king would come and bring with him a reign of justice and righteousness. We understand that new king to be Jesus. What would that reign of justice look like? People today disagree. That disagreement is the cause of much of the division in our society.
Many people have an understanding of justice that comes from the Age of Enlightenment. They have a strong belief in individual rights. Their perspective is captured in the saying, "You can do whatever you want, as long as it doesn't harm someone else." Perhaps unintentionally, they would sacrifice the well-being of society for the sake of the rights of an individual. In the Age of Enlightenment, justice is being left alone.
A newer understanding of justice come from the philosophy known as cultural Marxism. In this perspective, everyone is a member of a group, and society is a collection of groups competing with one another. The historically oppressed groups attempt to overtake the historically dominant group. The operative principle is power. The value and dignity of the individual is subservient to the interests of the group and/or the state. In cultural Marxism, justice is your group ruling over the other groups.
The Bible has its own perspective on justice. In the Bible, every person's value and dignity is affirmed because every person is a son or daughter of God, made in his image. The hyper-individuality that we sometimes see in our society is held in check by the perspective that we are members of a community, with responsibilities to others, especially the most vulnerable. In the Bible, justice is rooted not in the rights of individuals nor in group interests that are culturally conditioned but in the word of God.
In our worship this Sunday, we are going to talk about the different perspectives on justice, and how Jesus fulfills our hope for justice and righteousness.