On justice, mercy, and humility.

As Christ followers, we are called to pursue the welfare of our city and our communities so that all may experience the wholeness of life that we were made for in Christ.  

Doing justice.

Justice is joining God in making things right. Justice is the work of God confronting and overcoming evil and sin, both individually and systemically in our world. In Jeremiah 29:7, the people of God are instructed "to seek the welfare of the city" in which they live. But the issues which cause inequity, brokenness, and in our society are numerous and complex. We are invited to join God in this work, restoring God’s righteous purpose and peace (shalom) for creation and the human family.

When we pursue justice we ask, “Why does this brokenness exist? How do we address the causes?” This is not a theoretical question but one with practical implications. We do not simply affirm the value of social justice. But we do justice - actively working and living out this commitment.

Loving mercy.

Mercy is extending God’s unconditional love. Mercy is expressed as we extend compassion, forgiveness, and care to others as God extends mercy to us, undeserved and without limits. We follow teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25:40-45 in which Christ's followers are challenged to clothe, feed, and care for those in need.

In loving mercy we ask, “Who is broken? Who is in need? Who is my neighbor?” We ask these questions and act accordingly, not from a position of superiority but of solidarity for our sisters and brothers who are made in the image of God. Mercy is seeing ourselves in the brokenness of others, and leads us to a compassionate and just response.

Walking humbly.

Increasingly, our world is marked by bravado. Whoever shouts loudest wins. And while speaking out against injustice is vitally important, we engage acts of justice and mercy in light of of way of Jesus, marked with humility. In Philippians 2, we are encouraged to imitate Christ's humility who sacrificed and lowered himself for the sake of the world. This humility safeguards us from paternalism as we serve others. It also cautions us against the kind of self-righteousness that is easy to hold when working toward social and systemic change.

Such a view does not mean we will not speak out in righteous anger against injustice as Christ does in Mark 11:15. However, as we pursue justice and mercy, we recognize our own weaknesses and treat others with dignity and respect.