Psalms: 37:1-18 * 37:19-42; Ezra 1:1-11; 1 Cor 16:1-9; Matt: 12:15-21In Matthew today we hear that in Jesus' name there is hope and that his presence on earth will change the world and "bring justice to victory." (This is a paraphrase from Matthew, who juggled other scriptural writings to bring this point to light.) Two questions come to mind this morning: who decides what is justice and victory; and what is the point of hope.
So much of life can seem to be unfair, unjust. Society and our culture seems to have a skewed understanding of justice, of victory. Is it quashing, smushing down to pulp, everyone who disagrees with us? Is justice murdering those who themselves have murdered? Is justice and victory winning at all costs? Being the best, the highest paid, having the biggest home, or homes, the most expensive car(s), and at what cost? At the cost of not caring for others? Having smaller, "more efficient" work forces so as to pay large bonuses to a few? Is justice chasing an unsustainable system for as long as it can hold out?
Where do we find hope? We can be inspired by the words and the mission and ministry of Jesus. We can alter how we approach the world, view society, interact with those to whom we are blessed to come in contact, and not only provide ourselves a centered place of hope in Christ, but infect others with that same radical hope. And from that place of God-centered hopefulness, we can and we have to continue to chip away at the unfairness that surrounds us, the unjust treatment we see all around us, helping to lead this newly defined "justice to victory".
This seems to be part of what all those individuals who are "occupying" various centers of power are trying to articulate. They are trying to find a means of bringing about change; all the while, the corporate-owned media is trying to define, put in a box and narrowly define something that is a much larger and more complicated issue. These "occupiers" seem to be trying to redefine justice, victory and hope. Redefine what it means to be a society where all are equal. To put it in the context of our Gospel: where all can share in the wideness that is God's love.
There is hope and justice and victory in our world. Perhaps just not the way our corporate-centered society presently defines those principles.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: VTS Chapel Remains, 2010.