Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What happens when mercy has to be repeated?

Micah 6:8 make it pretty clear that we are to be involved in at least 3 types of ministries as Christians. In fact, the way the command is written it is clear that until "this same Jesus" from Acts 1:10 reappears we are to always be about these things: do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God.

In the past few years I've noticed that often mercy has to be repeated again and again. Children in many communities need tutoring in a big way. So out of mercy Christians respond. But is it really mercy when generation after generation of young people by the hundreds of thousands receive a non-competitive, sub-standard, unequal educational experience? (I am obviously picking only one of a number of issues. Others must include health care, housing, employment, etc..)

Here it is 50+ years after "Brown vs. Board of Education", through a non-faith tradition lens made it clear that segregated education (and all other public institutions) would inherently be unfair, our neighborhood schools are totally segregated and nearly totally failing.

So is a response to this problem a mercy issue? Perhaps in the immediate need of some young person we can call it "mercy". But what we really should be bold enough to say is: this is an issue of justice -- and the God of scripture REQUIRES us to respond by "doing justice". When mercy has to be repeated again and again I think we need to look behind it for the likelihood that there is a societal injustice at play. (But too often as Christians we either don't know what it means to "do justice" or we won't. . . )

"He has told you, oh Man, what is good; and what does the Lord REQUIRE of you, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

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