07-24-2016From Our PastorDeacon Edward Wendt

JUSTICE! JUSTICE!! JUSTICE!!! People are gathering and protesting, chanting and yelling for justice. They demand justice. If "justice" is not delivered to them, they will inflict their own brand of it.

I've noticed that "justice" is very angry nowadays. It's furious, in fact. It is intense and explosive. Local crimes don't stay local any longer. Local tragedies become national, and all of our cries for justice go unanswered.

We ask for what we can't define and don't even want to understand. We demand what we cannot hold.

We no longer have any concept of justice. We simply hunger for retaliation, revenge, entitlements for us, and punishment for them. These have become justice to us, so justice doesn't stand a chance.

Who defines justice? Can an unjust people establish justice on their own? Without the framework of a truly righteous code, how can right and wrong be decided, without a declaration of right and wrong? How can the good be known and the bad be rejected?

From where comes a law that is truly just? There is an answer: not from where, but from Whom? Only the One Who is just can teach us about justice. And that's our problem. We've "progressed" beyond any need for God, and certainly beyond any patience for Him. We can design our own morality now, and adjust it accordingly to each one's tastes and mood; spreading our own false gospels.

Justice demands honesty and integrity. Honesty and integrity have no room for self-serving agendas.

Justice insists on the truth; it makes no allowance for manipulation and falsehoods.

Justice is interested in the common good, and particularly in the good of the oppressed and powerless. Greed and violence have no place with justice.

Justice requires humility, and that is a virtue we are woefully lacking today. It's a virtue we have come to despise rather than admire and seek. Without humility, we will never know justice.

Justice walks alongside mercy, kindness, humility, and righteousness. Justice flows out of them like a river, and dries up completely in the face of arrogance, oppression, greed, hatred, and violence.

The heart of our trouble, the root of our unjust weed, is our disregard for human life. We forfeit any right we may have to justice because we turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the most vulnerable among us, and sacrifice them – literally – for the sake of our wants and "rights." We greet the most powerless with brutality and death. That is why justice is far from us.

Black lives matter. White lives matter. Cops' lives matter. Mothers' lives matter. Fathers' lives matter. The child in the womb matters. All lives matter. Until that becomes our mantra, justice will be a stranger to us. The just God waits with mercy and blessing for our decision.