Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saturday in Advent 1: Justice

O day of peace that dimly shines through all our hopes and prayers and dreams,
guide us to justice, truth, and  love, delivered from our selfish schemes.
May swords of hate fall from our hands, our hearts from envy find release,
till by God's grace our warring world shall see Christ's promised reign of peace.
(Hymnal 1982 #597)

This is not a hymn found in the Advent section of our hymnal but it certainly could be.  I suspect the compilers of the hymnal did not want its use confined to Advent.  Yet it does express Advent longing.

The text reminds us of our call to work for social justice.  Not all agree that the church should be about this business, because there is no way to do so and not wade into politics.At our Diocesan Convention last month, a resolution from the Public Policy Committee of the Diocese questioning the use of the Common Core curriculum (the subject of a forum at Two Saints on December 15) passed easily, but not before someone suggested we had to vote no because of the separation of church and state.  That is a misunderstanding of not only the Constitution but also the Bible.

Social Justice is the Christian's business and the Church's business.  So, of course, is the personal growth of each one of us in our relationship with God.  They are not mutually exclusive.  I'll quote these words from Walter Brueggemann's book Peace tomorrow:

[God's dream] is concerned not only with joy but also with justice, not only with love but also with equality, not only with happy persons but also with nurtured environment.


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