“God has told you, O people, what is good, and what is required of you. Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8.
Through Law and Prophets, the people of Israel were reminded that their faithfulness to the Covenant was to be demonstrated not by their worship rituals but by their care for the poor, the disadvantaged and the stranger. The same criteria applies to us as followers of the Way of Jesus.
Luke’s gospel reminds us that Jesus took as his Mission Statement this quotation from the prophet Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Luke 4:18-19.
Matthew’s gospel goes so far as to say that we will be judged by our acts of caring for the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, those without clothing, the imprisoned and the stranger. That what we do, or do not do, for these people is the same as doing, or not doing, for Jesus - refer to Matthew 25:31-46.
A commitment to justice is part of our DNA. We are people of shalom, which means “peace” not as the mere absence of conflict, but as harmonious and caring relationships between all peoples and all creation. Since its formation, the Uniting Church in Australia has affirmed this calling, in its Basis of Union (see paragraph 3) and more explicitly in its Invitation to the Nation (1st July 1977) where, “We pledge ourselves to seek the correction of injustices wherever they occur.”
We are all part of a long tradition of doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God. It is up to each one of us to ensure this tradition continues.
Statement to the Nation 1977 - 1st Assembly of the Uniting Church
Uniting Earthweb - a network of Uniting Church people within NSW and the ACT who work for a greater connection between ecology and Christian faith and practice.
To contact the Presbytery Justice Committee Chairperson go to Contact Us and either telephone or use the form - selecting Justice matters!
World Day of Social Justice - 20 February each year. The United Nations General Assembly recognises that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations and that, in turn, social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Earth Hour Day - 8:30 - 9:30pm, last Saturday in March. Remember, meaningful action involves more than one hour. As trustees for God's creation, we are responsible for the legacy we provide future generations.
Palm Sunday Refugee Rallies and Marches - check with Uniting Social Justice Forum for activities in Sydney, or with local groups for any local activities.
Global 6K for Water - 4 May each year. Six kilometres is the average distance people in developing countries need to walk to get water. On this day people from around the globe will walk or run that distance as part of this special event – raising funds to support World Vision’s water initiatives globally.
Reconciliation Week - 27 May to 3 June each year
Refugee Week - 3rd week of June each year
NAIDOC Week - 1st to 2nd Sunday in July
December 25 - the day we celebrate the birth of the Son of God, who came to restore relationships, commencing with ours with God, and leading us to serve God in reconciliation with and justice for all humanity.