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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Justice, not just us

An exploration of right relationship

We now live in the new political reality of the U.S. having elected Barack Obama as its first African-American president. As the most powerful person in this country—some would say in the world—President Obama will have the ability to influence change, as well as the reshaping of some systems that affect the conditions under which many people must live.

As I listen to Obama, I hear voices and see visions of justice that we have been exploring in this series. Justice—dikaiosune—is faithfulness to the intent of a relationship and carrying out that relationship in ways pleasing before God. A central theme of Obama’s politics seems to be relationship and being intentional about relationship in ways that can positively affect more people. That sounds like justice.

In this series we have seen justice examined through Scripture, through Hebrew and Greek tradition and practice, through the life and teaching of Jesus, and through the history of the Christian church in this country. In this series I have consistently put forth and supported the perspective that justice means being our brother’s and sister’s keeper. Justice means sharing and ensuring to one another what God has provided for us all: peace, wholeness, harmony, health, well-being, empowerment and prosperity for the community.


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