Justice and Mercy: Musings and Prayers

Injustice and violence sparking anger and retaliation, leading to more anger and violence… The news has been dismaying, sad, and overwhelming. A lot of change is needed and often the issues seem so big and so deeply rooted that I feel helpless to do anything about them, but my thoughts these past few days have been returning again and again to the question of what can I do where I live to make a difference in some small way. In that vein, I want to meditate on the following verses this week, keeping in mind all sorts of people, situations and contexts.

17-18 Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. James 3:17-18 (The Message)

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Monday: Let’s read and meditate on these verses throughout today, allowing the words to sink deeply into our minds and hearts. Thank God for his wisdom that shows us how to live in peace and in a way that helps others live in peace.

Tuesday: Ask God to make you holy in such a way that your thoughts and attitudes would reflect his grace and mercy toward all who cross your path, helping you to get along with people, being gentle and reasonable.

Wednesday: Evaluate your actions, words, and thoughts, asking yourself if they are contributing to peace or to strife, to justice or to injustice.

Thursday: Are you willing to yield to others, putting their interests ahead of your own?  Ask God to help you humble yourself before him and before others, honoring him with your actions as you treat others with honor and dignity.

Friday: How do you tend to react to those who have been broken in some way, whether by injustice done to them or through their own mistakes, or through some other difficulties of life? Thank God for his mercy toward you and pray that you would be full of mercy for others.

Saturday: Where and how can you contribute to building healthy community where justice and mercy prevail? Pray for guidance and discernment about this. 

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24