What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘love’ and ‘justice’ alongside each other? Philosopher Cornel West commented once, “Justice is what love looks like in public”In the Gospel account of Matthew, a short but very significant conversation is recorded between an expert in the law and Jesus. Jesus is asked what is the greatest commandment (see Matthew 22:34-40). Jesus’ reply is as follows,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind”
and “Love your neighbour as yourself”
Often verse 40 is overlooked but it is important:
All the Law and Prophets
hang on these two commandments
If we miss love for God and for others, it does not matter how much we speak about truth, justice, righteousness, since without love; what we stand for is not hanging on the right thing!
Sadly in the media, very often the church is not associated firstly with love. Often instead words like judgmental, bigoted, deluded and even dangerous get used. Why is this?
An emphasis on love of course is not a denial of truth nor a neglecting of any call for justice and what is right. Yet it is only through the lens of love that there is the possibility of:
– expressing things in a manner that honours God and
– Christians to be reaching out in society in a way that reflects the life and teachings of Christ.
This coming month, we will take time to look at various Bible passages and think about love for God and other people and how this potentially impacts faith, life and justice.
Grace and Truth