After dwelling for a bit in today's reading I found myself thinking about justice and what it means to be just while being loving. (Spoiler: I haven't figured it out) I was put on pause at this verse:
Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. Leviticus 19:5
What do we thnk of verses like this one? Or, perhaps a better question is how are we doing at that?
Or...maybe...perhaps...if we dare we might ask how's God doing at that?
Justice can easily become the largest challenge to the faith of those who refuse to put on spiritual blinders.
I have learned more about love and justice from God than any other source, and yet...
God's world as it stands doesn't seem to be just or fair on most days and favoritism towards our own ideas and mindsets (tribalism, fundamentalism, political divides) seem to me to be among the largest barriers to loving others.
On top of that the state of the world and the way we often represent the afterlife causes others to question God's loving justice.
That's a problem.
We say God is love. We say God is just. We say God will burn people forever and ever based on a temporal choice if they don't agree with him. Just punishment? Unconditional love?
Everything I've been taught about love and justice came from God, does he change that when our hearts stop beating?
I wonder if part of our trouble when it comes to loving justice is we don't really want it. We want someone to be wrong so that we can be right. We want to tell folks we love them, or that we are loving them even as we toss justice and care out the window based on our convictions.
Far too regularly, we are loving until we find somthing we have judged as wrong in someones else's life and then we change our actions, we change the way we care, we change the way we treat them, the way we feel about them, the way we talk about them, the way we pray for them. We often have the aduacity to belive that when it comes to love and justice we get to be the judge of how to proceed. If when it comes to love and justice all of us are still a little confused, perhaps we should error on the side of grace?
What do you think? Keep reading.