Over the last few weeks I have had my heartbroken as I have witnessed the effects of the systemic racism which permeates through our entire global society.
My various emotions and musings have lead me to one very simple truth- racism is not the heart of God.
As a result I have been diving deeper into what God’s justice should look like. My readings so far have lead me to the word ‘Mishpat’- Hebrew for Justice. It’s often used in the bible to describe ‘restorative’ justice. It is a justice which doesn’t favour anyone, but supports those who need it the most- the vulnerable.
The vulnerable are often described in the bible as the widows the orphans and the foreigners. Those who stand to be taken advantage of, or forgotten, by a traditional controlling power- historically wealthy men.
It is crucial to not just lean on our systems to treat people fairly, each person must do their part. Do what they can in their own individual circumstance and context to support those being pushed down. As Christians, Jesus gave us supreme examples of this time and time again.
I am reminded of the woman caught in adultery, in John 8. When she is brought before Jesus, she was incredibly vulnerable. She had been caught in the crime and the law of Moses was against her; calling for her death. The people in power were using their position to not just condemn her, but kill her.
Jesus used his position to level the playing field- ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ Simple, effective, misphat. Jesus brought each person who was standing around him to the same level- they were all sinners.
I’d like to leave this with a verse often quoted by Dr Martin Luther King; Amos 5:24 “But let justice roll down like a river, and righteous like a never-ending stream!”
By Sophie Annesley
My prayer is that the world knows God, his Love, his righteousness and his Misphat, and I will be doing all I can in my world, in my context and circumstance to bring that about.