Give us justice! Give us justice! Give us justice! I can hear it as a chant for our days. God once again is sitting at the head of the divine council looking over our neighborhoods. What does God see?
I have to admit that on most days I do not know. I am too focused on my own family life: getting kids to school, leaving on time for work, cooking dinner, and paying bills. People in my circles of influence and friendship have lives very similar to mine. Seldom do I encounter someone who is that much different from me.
Studies show that I am not alone. Most of us have friendships, relationships, and connections within our own small circles. We are enmeshed with people of similar classes, ethnicities, races, and places in life. An echo chamber of sameness keeps us from seeing those who are different.
Justice is about doing what God does. It is about making things right in the world; it is about equity, peace, reconciliation, and care for all people. It is a restoration to God’s original intention for the world. But it is difficult to do justice if we live in ways that protect us from even seeing injustice.
Today the psalmist invites us to open our eyes. We are being called to see as God sees—which can be overwhelming; many of us purposely avoid it. Yet if we are to be God’s people, we must embrace such an awakening so that we can participate in God’s work of rescuing, delivering, freeing, and saving.
God of justice, open my eyes to the many ways that the places where I live, work, and play fall short of your vision of equity for all of creation. Amen.
This reading from Amos provides more indication of the reasons for God’s coming judgment. Too many in Israel have been oppressing the poor. They cannot wait for religious festivals to end so that they can make more money through corrupt trade, including what we now call human trafficking. If we understand the psalmist to be David, the warning he issues in this passage concerns Saul. Because Saul has turned to evil, God will not allow him to remain in power. While God is love, God also sometimes brings judgment. The author of Colossians extols the elevated status of Christ, who has reconciled us to himself through his death. In Luke, Mary prioritizes spending time with Jesus, while Martha focuses on working for Jesus. It is Mary who receives Jesus’ praise.
Read Amos 8:1-12. Who in your community has been left behind? How can you care for them?
Read Psalm 52. How do you remain rooted in God’s steadfast love when you cry out against injustice?
Read Colossians 1:15-28. What do you need to let fall away to reveal the mystery of Christ in you?
Read Luke 10:38-42. How do you focus on Christ even as you attend to the necessary tasks of daily life?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.