A reminder, this week we are looking at a quote each day from our “Westwood Reads” book, “The Myth of Equality.” Join us on Zoom for a discussion on Thursday of this week at 7:00 p.m. Even if you have not read the book you are welcome to join.
“In Short, Jesus, who came to work for restorative justice, had accomplished reconciliation between God and his creation. The apostle Paul describes this event by saying ‘God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,’ and, even more tellingly, he continues, ‘And he has committed to us the message or reconciliation’ (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) . . . We have been brought back into relationship with God through the incarnation, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are now empowered, with the Holy Spirit to go into the world as the body of Christ. We are continuing his incarnation, with a mandate to love others in his name and to be witnesses of his saving power.” (p. 113,114)
The author of our book reminds us that justice is a multifaceted concept. Primary justice is when “things are as they ought to be.” Therefore, when things are not as they are supposed to be, they are “unjust.” Restorative justice is the PROCESS of taking broken things back to the way things ought to be –restoring the unjust back to the just.
Primary justice is what we see in the Kingdom of God. Restorative justice is the action we take to get there.
When we see racial inequality in the world –that’s a violation of primary justice –a perversion of the Kingdom of God. Making things right is restorative justice. We are called to restorative justice.
Why? Why is this part of our calling as disciples of Christ? Our author reminds us of the letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians as the reason: WE have been restored, reconciled with God through Jesus Christ. And now that we ourselves have been reconciled –we have become reconcilers. Our author puts it this way: “We are both gospel agents and gospel recipients. Those reconciled and agents of reconciliation.” (p. 116)
As Christians we cannot NOT do the work of reconciliation and restorative justice. It is part of who we are, and it is part of our calling as disciples.
How can you be an agent of reconciliation today? How can our church become an agent of reconciliation in our community? These are important questions. If we want to be disciples of Christ, we must answer them.
God thank you for reconciling us to yourself through your son Jesus. Help us to now become agents of reconciliation ourselves. Help us to see injustice in the world and commit ourselves to working to make things right.