'Let justice roll down like waters' (Amos 5:24).
Lately it seems there are a lot of angry people. We hear arguing about what our legislators are doing to reform health care or to manage the federal budget. There's shouting and ranting about securing our borders. There are demonstrations, protests and even acts of vandalism when someone decides the way to voice their opinion is to throw a brick through a window. Taxes, gas prices — everything inspires us to complain. Everyone is angry about something.
It isn't uncommon to hear people complain about how current changes in legislation affects them. There is a fear of what new policies will cost. We cry and yell and rant out of a fear of losing our comforts. Majority opinion is replaced by the opinion that can be shouted the loudest. It makes me wonder what we, as people of faith, should really be shouting about.
The prophets have something to say about all of this. Throughout Scripture there is a reminder that sometimes the desires of the majority should take a back seat to the needs of those who struggle to be heard amid all the noise. When we protect our own interests, are we "buying the needy for a pair of sandals" (Amos 8:6)? Are we forgetting to "do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8)? The needs of the poor and oppressed in our world are great — for both those around the globe and in our own backyard.
Our faith calls us to love God and to love our neighbor. How often do special interests take precedence over those who struggle to feed and clothe their family? When we fail to conserve, are we forgetting those who will come after us in the next generation? How are we doing when it comes to loving our neighbor?
I've heard it said that the church is no place to discuss politics, as if faith has no bearing on the decisions we make in our country. This becomes a problem when we turn issues of justice and human rights into political issues. When it comes to caring for others I would hope that we see the value of faith in guiding our decisions, of replacing our fear and anger with compassion and peace. May we place God's call to love our neighbor as ourselves above the bottom line, and may "justice roll down like waters" on the earth.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers